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Children’s Trauma Therapy Service

About us

We are still here to help and are currently supporting families during Covid-19 through phone and video calls

The Children’s Trauma Therapy Service, at Bradford Family Action, is a specialist therapy service providing trauma and attachment focussed therapy for children and their families.   We currently have two streams of therapy.  Please click here to find out more:

  • Specialist recovery-focussed therapy for children / young people aged 5-18 who have experienced sexual abuse or a traumatic bereavement. Our offer of therapy usually includes work with the whole family, though we also welcome self-referrals from individual young people.
  • Children aged 4-11 who have experienced one or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)* and who are experiencing trauma symptoms or family difficulties. These families can now receive therapy through CALM; a new therapy service jointly funded by the Department of Health and Bradford CCG.  This service is led by the Children’s Trauma Therapy Service team and delivered in partnership with Step2 and Relate Bradford.

We welcome self-referrals from families and referrals from professionals.  If you /your family, or a family you work with, live in the Bradford District CCG area (i.e. have a Bradford GP) and fall under either of the above criteria, please do get in touch with us.  More information on what to expect from each stream of our service is detailed below.

Therapy Stream 1: Referrals for Sexual Abuse or Traumatic / Complicated Bereavement


What is Childhood Sexual Abuse?

Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) is defined by Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) as:

“…forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse [including via the internet] … Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.”

Which children can be referred for recovery-focussed trauma therapy for sexual abuse?

Referred child(ren) or young people should now be safe from sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse or harm.  They should be aged 5-18 at the time of referral and should be supported by a trusted adult who believes their disclosure.

What is traumatic bereavement?

A traumatic bereavement is one normally associated with sudden, unexpected or traumatic death.  An individual or family could be considered to have experienced a traumatic bereavement if they have experienced any one or more of the following: loss through suicide, homicide or other traumatic /violent event; if they have been involved in the care of a severely ill close family member who passed away from their illness; if the death was sudden or unexpected and they are now presenting with trauma symptoms as a result of this loss.  In addition, the process of grieving can become more complicated – or traumatic – if there were existing difficulties in attachment or a history of trauma in the family which are compounded by the bereavement.

Although grief and loss are a universal experience, ‘traumatic grief’ usually occurs in response to the types of losses defined above and is a way of describing thoughts, feelings and reactions which are more traumatic (trauma symptoms) than the universal experience of mourning following a death.

 What happens after I make a referral?

Following acceptance of a referral, we offer an initial clinical assessment to the referred family.  Following assessment, we may make an offer of direct therapy to the family (with their agreement) and/ or offer specialist consultation to the professional system supporting the child.

The Children’s Trauma Therapy Service is comprised of a highly skilled team of psychotherapists and counsellors.  At present (April 2020), our therapy team is comprised of: a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, an Art Psychotherapist, Dramatherapists, a Dance and Movement Psychotherapist, Child and Adult Counsellors and Family and Systemic Psychotherapists.  In addition, many of our clinicians have additional training in dyadic (parent-child) or trauma focussed approaches to therapy.  As a team, we are able to offer some of the following therapies to referred families:

  •  Individual Child Therapy is normally a creative therapeutic approach, using a range of techniques to support children and young people.
  • Dyadic (Parent-child) therapy aims to build on positive interactions to strengthen attachment relationships.
  • Family Therapy to address the impact of trauma and difficulties in family relationships.
  • Trauma-focussed therapy involves using additional therapies to help us process traumatic memories as part of the overall work. In our service, this is normally additional therapies such as EMDR or CATT.
  • Therapeutic Parenting: either with individuals or groups of parents. Therapeutic parenting aims to help support and equip parents of children who have experienced trauma.  Therapeutic parenting works with an understanding of attachment and trauma in mind.
  • Specialist consultation to support key professionals and the system around the child as they plan for the child’s care

Therapy Stream 2: Referrals to CALM at the Children’s Trauma Therapy Servicedelivered by the Family Action, Step2 and Relate Bradford

 CALM is a new, joint Department of Health (DOH) and CCG funded therapy service for Children aged 4-11 in the Bradford area who have experienced one or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)*.  CALM is part of the well-regarded Children’s Trauma Therapy Service, a Bradford Family Action service which has a long and proven track record in providing specialist attachment and trauma-focussed therapy to children who have experienced sexual abuse or traumatic grief.  Children and families referred to CALM will receive therapy through one (or more) of 3 partner organisations: Family Action, Step 2 and Relate Bradford.

List of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs):

 Domestic abuse

  • Parental abandonment through separation/divorce
  • A parent with a mental health condition
  • Abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)
  • Neglect (physical, emotional)
  • Household member in prison
  • Household adults with alcohol or drug abuse problems.

*Some further information about ACES, including a link to a short Youtube clip, can be found here:

How do I find out more or make a referral?

We welcome discussions with young people, parents and professionals about referrals into our service.  You can call us on: 01274 651652 and ask for a member of the Children’s Trauma Therapy Service or send an email to [email protected]

You can access our referral forms and information here:



CTTS GDPR statement 0620

Info about referring to CTTS 0620