Service Description

STARS is a Mindworks Surrey Specialist Service that works with children and young people (up to the age of 25), and their families, who have been affected by sexual abuse. 

Services provided:

  • Specialist trauma-focused therapy for children and young people who are holding sexual trauma, offering both individual and group therapy
  • Child Independent Sexual Violence Advisor/Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (CISVA/ISVA) service offering support throughout the criminal investigation process
  • Pre-trial therapy can be considered on an individual basis in line with the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines. (Please note: a CISVA/ISVA will be offered in the first instance)
  • Therapeutic group work for parents/carers (tailored, individual parent sessions can be considered)
  • Family therapy can be offered when appropriate
  • Joint working with RASASC (Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre), SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre), Police, ACT (Assessment, Consultation, Treatment), Social Care, Mindworks Surrey Community and Specialist Teams, and all Mindworks Partner Agencies
  • Consultation with other professionals working with cases of sexual abuse
  • The STARS team provides training in working with children and young people who have experienced sexual trauma, we are happy to organise bespoke training to external agencies

All request for trauma focused therapy starts with a triage appointment where we assess the child or young person’s therapeutic needs. This appointment is for the child and one parent/carer, but we welcome both parent/carers to attend if appropriate. If the outcome of the triage suggests STARS is the right service at this time, weekly therapy sessions will be offered (please note there may be a wait list for therapy in place).

It is preferred that the child/young person comes to our main clinic in Epsom. However, we can consider other bases around Surrey, dependent on availability.
We are a multi-disciplinary Trauma Focused Team. Our background/training includes Creative Arts Therapies, Social Work, Mental Health Nursing, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing), Family Therapy, Behavioural Activation Therapy, Trauma Based CBT, Children’s Accelerated Trauma Treatment (CATT). 

We know from experience that children and young people who are holding sexual trauma can benefit from meeting other people who have been through similar experiences.

Groups for children and young people

The group meets for 12 to 15 weeks after school. The aim is for the child/young person to explore the impact of the abuse on themselves and their families. We help group members learn new strategies to cope with their trauma symptoms and offer a space for them to share, discuss, and process their thoughts and feelings. 

We cover a range of topics within the group, such as: how the abuse has affected them and their families; how they are feeling now; how to deal with difficulties like nightmares, intrusive thoughts, and flashbacks; feelings of anger, shame, and blame; suicidal thoughts and self-harming behaviours, and how to better cope and move forward.


The carers group is an 8-10 week programme that aims to support parents/carers of children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse.

The group helps its members consider how the abuse has affected them, their child and their family. We offer a safe space for them to process, share, and learn from each other’s experiences. We think with them on how best to support a child who has been sexually abused, and offer psycho-education to better understand their child/young person’s needs. 

1:1 support

  • A member of the STARS team can meet with you online via Microsoft Teams, or in a clinic, to offer a one-off support session. Themes covered can include: 
  • 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 
  • Understanding the impact of sexual abuse

A CISVA (Child Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) or ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) is allocated when there is an ongoing police investigation/criminal court proceedings. 

They offer emotional and practical support with regards the investigation/court proceedings, and advice and liaise with other agencies involved with the child/young person and their family. These agencies may include the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, social care, Youth Support Service, sexual health clinic, Witness Service, as well as school or college.

The STARS team are able to offer consultation, and short-term joint working, with colleagues 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, online, or can meet with you in person to talk in more detail.
We also provide training to Mindworks Surrey Community Teams, partner agencies, and external agencies. We consider 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.

Assessment Consultation Therapy (ACT)

STARS works closely with other services including Assessment Consultation Therapy ACT, to help provide holistic support for the child/young person, and their family.

ACT is a specialist therapeutic service within Surrey County Council's Children, Schools and Families Service.  ACT works with children and young people, aged 8 to 18, who present with issues around harmful sexualised behaviour

Solace Sexual Assault Referral Centre SARC

STARS accepts referrals from 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: every child or young person who attends the Solace Centre is offered a referral to the STARS team.



Requests for support

We accept direct requests for support from young people, their parents/carers, and all professionals. We encourage you to contact us directly on 01372 203 096, or email to discuss any requests for support. We are then able to send our electronic referral form directly to you. 

Request for support criteria

  • The child or young person is aged 25 and under
  • The child or young person has been affected by sexual abuse/trauma and is willing to work on the difficulties they are experiencing due to the abuse
  • The child or young person lives in Surrey or is registered with a Surrey GP
  • A disclosure of sexual abuse, rape, sexual assault, or sexual exploitation has been made by the child or young person and appropriate safeguarding procedures have been followed: the case must have been reported to Social Care and/or the Police in accordance with local safeguarding procedures (if under 18 years of age) 
  • Support to carers can be provided even if the child does not wish to engage with the service directly

Areas covered:

  • Elmbridge
  • Epsom and Ewell
  • Guildford
  • Mole Valley
  • Reigate and Banstead
  • Runnymede
  • Spelthorne
  • Surrey Heath
  • Tandridge
  • Waverley
  • Woking

Contact Details

Ramsay House,
Richmond Crescent,
KT19 8PH

Telephone: 01372 203 096


Opening times:

  • Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Service Manager: Emina Atic-Lee

Out of hours contact: Trust Switchboard: 0300 5555 222