What happens when my child is referred?
We only accept referrals when a parent has given consent, so you should be fully aware of the referral. We may take all the information we need over the phone, but sometimes we know there is lots to tell, so we may invite you in to talk things through with us. We sometimes call this a ‘consultation’, as it is space for you to tell us what has happened, and to talk through the needs of your child. Depending on the age of your child, they may not be present.
Unfortunately we do have waiting times for our support, and you will be told about this when we take the referral. Whilst waiting you are welcome to phone us on our Duty service and a consultation may be offered during this time. Once we are able to allocate a worker, they will be in touch, and arrange a suitable time to meet you and your child. Usually this will be at our office so your child can see the rooms and become familiar with them. You can decide together the best time for the sessions and when they will take place. This may be during school time, after school, at Family Care, or a venue near to your home.
What is therapeutic emotional support?
It is about providing an opportunity for your child to communicate in a safe place about their feelings. We use a range of methods to help your child express their feelings. This may be through talking, art drama and play, as each child and circumstance is treated individually. We use the child’s natural language which is often play, therefore communication between the children’s practitioner and your child is often through symbolic play, art, puppets, story telling, sand tray work.
Whilst it may appear at times that your child has simply been ‘playing’, the children’s practitioner uses many skills whilst working with children which allows them to safely explore and express their feelings through this play. Young people may feel more comfortable just talking or using media such as lap tops or photography. We will be flexible and responsive to each individual need. We will not judge or tell your child what to do, but enable them to explore their feelings and worries and identify ways to cope with these.
Support to Parents
When your child is receiving emotional support from a worker, they will be in regular contact with you, and you will be able to discuss any worries and review progress.
As an additional support, we can offer counselling for you, which is entirely separate from our work with your child. This is space for you, and is completely confidential. We have carefully selected final year students on clinical placements, who provide a professional and free service. This can be discussed with your child’s worker.