Post Sexual Abuse (PSA) Service
Supports children and young people up to the age of 18
The PSA Service, based in Leicester, provides specialist trauma informed and attachment focused social work interventions for children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse. Our service is delivered by social workers and focuses upon addressing trauma distress and symptoms, and family functioning. Our work is based upon exploring the context of the child’s family and their day-to-day life. Parents and carers are recognised as fundamental to the life journey of recovery for each child and young person.
The PSA service recognises that it is one service with one approach. As a social work service rather than psycho-therapeutic service, it sits alongside, but does not replace, therapy.
This service has accepted referrals from Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland since 1996, and has developed and evolved in line with the changing nature of the referrals received, as well as changing practice guidance.
Family Action’s PSA service offers support to children and young people who have been sexually abused. Support is available for young people up to the age of 18, unless they have SEN or LAC status when support is available up to 25 years. This is a free and confidential service. Our aim is to improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people and bring about greater stability in their lives.
When we work with families, our workers will carry out an initial assessment to gather as much information of the family’s current situation as possible. We may also speak to other professionals involved with the family. This helps us to get a better understanding of the family, their day-to-day life, the issues with which they are struggling, and how we can help.
We then create a support plan where we agree on one or two therapeutic goals – these are the aims of the work, and reflect priorities highlighted by the child and family as areas that they want to change or improve. We involve parents/carers in the work wherever possible to help us to achieve these aims. This is because research tells us that children whose parents/carers support and believe them, and where home feels safe and stable, can begin recovery.
We can offer more than one episode of care; we accept re-referrals for families that we have previously worked with. We recognise that recovery can be a lifelong journey.
Due to high demand for the service we operate a waiting list. At times this can be around 9 months long. We know how hard this can be and will try to keep in contact with families who are waiting, by sending them resources around every 6 weeks. We encourage people to access our Family Line support service at any time.
The service is mainly delivered in person. It can take place at our office, in schools or child-friendly settings, or at home.
We provide psycho-educational support to understand the impact of trauma, alongside emotional support around the impact and consequences of trauma. We create a safe space for children and young people to share their feelings and teach a variety of coping strategies to help manage those feelings.
Our service is confidential. We do not share information unless we have to do so to protect a child or vulnerable adult. Family Action’s policies on confidentiality and how the PSA Service manages any new disclosure of sexual abuse will be explained to families during the assessment period, if not beforehand.
Referrals can come from parents, carers, or professionals in the Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland area. A self-referral can be made by a person aged 16 or over. Our referral form is available to download, or you can book a time to talk with us over the phone or online to make a referral. We will respond to any referral made within 10 working days and will try to speak with referrers to gather as much information as possible.
Please note we strongly encourage reporting to Children and Families Social Care and/or police where sexual abuse has taken place and it is our policy to share information with them when we are made aware of sexual abuse that has not been reported.
Support is available while an investigation is ongoing or a trial is pending/underway. This requires a specialist approach designed to prevent evidence being compromised.
If you wish to refer a child or family involved in an ongoing police investigation relating to the sexual abuse, please call us to discuss this.
Information booklet for parents/carers:
Information booklet for young people (aged 12+):
Information booklet for primary aged children (5 – 11):
Information booklet for professionals: