The Green House - Children and Young People Services

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Summary

A free specialist counselling service for children and young people who are victims of sexual abuse, with the objective of alleviating the distress of victims/survivors who have suffered sexual violence or abuse at any time in their lives.

Type of intervention

Counselling, family work

Target groups, level of prevention and subgroups

  • (Potential) Offenders | Secondary prevention | Young Children (0-5 years), Children (6-11 years), Young People (12-17 years) | Male and female | Counselling, family work | English
  • Children and Young People (Victims) | Tertiary prevention | Young Children (0-5 years), Children (6-11 years), Young People (12-17 years) | Male and female | Counselling, famil work | English

 

Target population

Girls, boys and young people aged 3-18 years, who have experienced sexual abuse or rape at any point in their lives.

Delivery organisation

These services are delivered by The Green House, UK.

Mode and context of delivery

Assessment and Planning: Preliminary screening and information gathering by the Case Holder, including liaison with key care professionals, risk assessment and forward planning.

Counselling: Delivery of up to 24 individual therapeutic counselling sessions of 50 minutes’ duration per child, depending on need and circumstances.

Parent/Carer Support Work: Support sessions delivered by the Case Holder to the parent/carer to mitigate the effect on the child's family.

Level/nature of staff expertise required

All Green House clinical staff are professionally qualified therapists and are accredited members of a recognised professional body e.g. British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). They adhere to an established ethical framework and complaints procedure, as well as maintaining organisational policies and practices.

All staff working at the Green House are subject to enhanced disclosure checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service and receive monthly external supervision in line with BACP guidelines.

Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)

Up to 24 individual sessions, of 50 minutes’ duration.

Description of intervention

The Green House provides free specialist counselling. Its objective is to alleviate the distress of those who have suffered sexual violence or abuse at any time in their lives. It aims to help victims/survivors to overcome their trauma and increase their physical and emotional wellbeing, resilience and ability to cope.

Clients often present to the Green House as highly vulnerable, with many of them subject to ongoing S47 child protection processes, resulting in their separation from siblings and primary carers. Of the girls and young women supported in 2013, 80% were referred by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and Children’s Social Care teams. Of these referrals, 10% were subject to Child Protection Plans, 25% were from families with intergenerational sexual abuse and 25% were the subject of S31 care orders.

Each child or young person is offered up to 24 sessions of individual counselling. These sessions are customised to meet the child’s unique needs. Counsellors are specialists in non-verbal therapeutic modalities such as art, drama and play therapy. These approaches are very empowering for young people disadvantaged by language, special educational needs, or chronic shame and trauma.

The Green House recognises that the children with whom they work may have an impaired ability for enjoyment and play, may lack expression or appear 'frozen'. They may be delayed in language development and play skills, have low self-esteem, not trust any kindness, expecting it to be accompanied by harmful words or action. They may present as aggressive, display overtly sexualised behaviour or play, be withdrawn, overtly compliant, self-harming, depressed, or suicidal, or refuse to attend school or play truant. They may also run away from home and use alcohol or drugs.

The Green House offers pre-trial therapy for those children/young people engaged in criminal proceedings, as it is recognised that children participating as witnesses in Crown Court are under great stress and may be re-traumatised if they feel they are not believed, if the perpetrator is not convicted, or if the trial is abandoned. Staff work alongside the police and Crown Prosecution Service to support children against the risk of further trauma and to reduce the sense of ‘double betrayal’ that many children report.

The Green House works in partnership with two Children’s Centres and a Health Park in Bristol to provide their services on an outreach basis, to ensure maximum reach and accessibility, as well as delivering daily sessions from their Centre in the heart of the city.

Evaluations

The Green House uses a variety of tools to assess and measure outcomes, these include:

  • Goal Based Outcomes - a participatory evaluation tool which empowers clients to identify and measure their own goals during the counselling process. These goals then inform the baseline for the Counsellor Assessment Tool and identify the goals most relevant to each client for monitoring their wellbeing.
  • Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation (CORE) - a standardised self-assessment questionnaire that the Green House uses to measure routine change in overall wellbeing. CORE YP or LD is used by the Green House for girls/young women who have a learning disability diagnosis.
  • Counsellor Assessment Tool - a qualitative form which enables Green House counsellors to observe and record trauma symptoms, risk taking behaviour and other indicators of wellbeing.
  • Three way reviews - a process used with girls and young women that takes place between the client, child and parent/carer and is used to reflect on the distance travelled by the child, to give feedback and to set interim milestones towards the next goal.
  • End of Service Questionnaire - completed by the client and parent/carer in the case of a child, at the end of counselling.

 

The first four tools are used in the assessment and first counselling sessions to provide a baseline on which to measure the progress of the client. They are then updated every six sessions during the counselling process and combined with end of service data; i.e. survivor-led End of Service Questionnaire.

References

There are no references to include at the time of writing.

Contact details

Michelle Windle, Director
The Green House
Email: director@the-green-house.org.uk
Tel: 0117 935 1707.

https://the-green-house.org.uk/

RATING: Pioneering