STARS is a service for children, young people and their families who have been affected by sexual abuse.
Our purpose is to ensure those children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse receive an appropriate service which meets their needs, improves their emotional wellbeing and helps them to achieve their full potential.
- Specialist therapy and support for children, young people and families who have been affected by sexual trauma, offering both individual and group therapy
- Child Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (CISVA) service offering support through the criminal investigation process
- Therapeutic group work for female carers
- Consultation and training to other professionals working with cases of sexual abuse
- We work closely with the Assessment Consultation Therapy (ACT) team and the Solace Centre where appropriate
- Initial home visit assessment to all cases introduced to us from the Solace Centre and signposting to other services
- The STARS team provide training in working with children and young people who have experienced sexual trauma as part of the Surrey Safeguarding Board. We’re also happy to organise bespoke training to external agencies.
We know from experience that children and young people who have been affected by sexual abuse find it really helpful to meet other people who have been through similar experiences
Groups for children and young people
The group will meet for 12 to 15 weeks after school and it aims to help young people who have been affected by sexual abuse talk about their feelings and worries.
Young people meet with peers of a similar age and gender to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences. The group helps people think about how the abuse has affected them and their families, how they are feeling now, how to deal with difficulties like nightmares, feeling anger or blame and think about how to cope and move forward. It’s not all talking though - there are practical things like drawing or making things.
Groups for female carers
The carers group is an 8-10 week programme that aims to help female carers of sexually abused children and young people.
The group helps its members to think about how the abuse has affected them, their child and their family, how they are feeling now, how to deal with any difficulties their child may be experiencing or presenting and how to cope in a positive way. We acknowledge that it's difficult to come along to a group like this, but we know it can really help.
The STARS team can work with children and young people on a 1:1 basis as well as in a group.
Individual therapy for children and young people
All therapy starts with an assessment of the child or young person’s therapeutic needs. We will offer to meet you at home and then set up weekly sessions at our Epsom base or another local clinic if possible. We offer a variety of different therapies: play therapy, drama therapy, talking therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing), art therapy, CBT and DBT informed therapeutic work.
Individual therapy sessions for children and young people who have attended a STARS group
Sometimes people feel that they need a bit more help to think about things after a group has finished and sometimes having some one-to-one time with a therapist is needed to work through some trickier issues or things that the group did not cover. Any child or young person who has been to a STARS group can continue having individual sessions afterwards, if they need it.
A member of the STARS team can visit you at home or see you in a clinic to offer short term advice and support. The things we tend to cover and help you with are:
- Talking to your child about what has happened
- Understanding and managing challenging behaviour
- Talking about your experiences and gaining emotional support
- Understanding systems including the criminal justice process and family proceedings
- Understanding the impact of sexual abuse
- Understanding more about how abusers operate and how parents can make good and informed choices to protect and best meet the needs of their children.
The STARS team is happy to offer consultation on any sexual abuse cases to professionals both within the Mindworks Surrey service and from other agencies.
We often work with social workers and schools to help them think about how best to meet the needs of sexually abused children, young people and their families. We offer consultation over the phone or we can come to see you to talk in more detail.
We also provide support to all the teams in Surrey by offering:
- short term joint working with colleagues
- support and consultation to clinicians and to external professionals working with sexual abuse cases
- training for people working with children who have been affected by sexual abuse.
We also provide training to professionals working with children and young people. We deliver multi-agency training for the Surrey Safeguarding Children Board, as well as bespoke training courses to groups of professionals as requested.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss accessing some specialist training in working with sexual abuse.
We support children, young people and families affected by sexual abuse in Surrey. All work is also subject to pre-trial therapy guidance.
We accept requests for support directly from young people, parents/carers as well as from health, social care and education professionals. You can call us directly on 01372 203096, or email email@example.com, to make a request for support or just to talk things through.
Alternatively, you can request support via Access and Advice (previously known as CAMHS SPA). To contact us or make a request for support:
- Visit the electronic referral system - GPs only
- Visit the secure Riviam web portal - GPs, schools and other professionals
Please make your request for support on Google Chrome
- Call Access and Advice on 0300 222 5755
We are open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12pm Saturday. The service is not open on bank holidays.
- Epsom and Ewell
- Mole Valley
- Reigate and Banstead
- Surrey Heath
STARS works closely with other services including Assessment Consultation Therapy (ACT) and Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC).
ACT is a team in Surrey County Council's Children, Schools and Families Service which aims to reduce sexual abuse by children and young people by providing Assessment, Consultation and Therapy. STARS work closely with ACT to make sure that children and young people get the right kind of therapeutic help.
STARS works closely with the Solace Centre as, for many families, this is the first place they visit when a child tells them about sexual abuse.
The Solace Centre, also known as a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), provides local communities with a safe, discreet and caring environment to support victims of rape and sexual assault.
The Solace Centre is able to:
- Perform a forensic examination by a specialist forensic doctor
- Provide crisis support at your initial visit and arrange follow up appointments
- Provide telephone advice
- Provide independent advocacy and support with practical matters
- Introduce other support services, such as Rape Crisis and Victim Support
There is a direct pathway from SARC to STARS so every child or young person who goes to the Solace Centre is offered a visit by a member of the STARS team to make sure that they have the support they need when things are difficult. In particular, we can talk with you about the kinds of therapy you can have if you need it.
The CISVA offers support for children and families during a police investigation. The CISVA will start things off with a home visit to see how things are going and to make plans on how best to offer you support. The CISVA offers practical support and advice and liaises with the other agencies involved with your child and family.
They can provide a simple explanation of the CISVA process and justice system, while liaising between you and other agencies such as the police, Crown Prosecution Service, social care, Youth Support Service, sexual health clinic, Witness Service, as well as school or college.
- Solace Centre, also known as the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC): 0300 130 3038
- Childline: 0800 1111
- NSPCC: 0808 8005000
- Samaritans: 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In case of a crisis, please contact:
- Call our free 24/7 mental health crisis line for children, young people and their families on 0800 915 4644. It’s open all day and all night, seven days a week.
- Access and Advice on 0300 222 5755. Open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and 9am to 12pm, Saturday.
- Outside of these hours, you can call EDT on 01483 517898 between the hours of 5pm to 11pm.
- Or in the case of an emergency, call 999.