Skip navigation

What we do

Family Action’s Pre-trial Support Service supports children aged up to 16 (we prioritise under 13s) who have experienced sexual abuse, and their non-abusing parents/carers. Support is available only once the abuse has been disclosed to the police and while an investigation is ongoing or a trial is pending/underway. Following a disclosure, children and other witnesses are asked not to discuss this further with anyone. This is because talking about the evidence could lead to accusations of coaching, which could have a potential impact on the trial.

The service aims to help children and their parents/carers to: understand and manage trauma symptoms; improve self-esteem/self-confidence, mental health and wellbeing; and reduce stress and anxiety around the trial process – thereby improving long-term future prospects.

The service is delivered by qualified and experienced social workers who specialise in therapeutic work with children and young people, including the use of creative techniques such as art, stories, craft and play.

The service is free and available to those in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Subject to demand we may operate a waiting list.

What we offer

We use a whole-family approach, providing holistic support to children and those supporting them:

  • Therapeutic work (including psycho-educational and emotional support) tailored to meet the needs of individual children aged 6 to 16. This is usually offered by means of weekly sessions over a six-week period. (For children aged 5 and under we work only with their parents/carers to help them identify negative behaviours that are a consequence of sexual abuse and to learn ways to promote positive behaviours.)
  • Support for parents/carers at the beginning, middle and end of our work with their child around what they and their child can expect from the court process, and how they can help their child to cope while attending to their own needs.
  • Support for siblings where they have been affected by the abuse or disclosure.
  • Consultation for professionals, such as teachers and nurses, who are working with a child receiving our service, to educate them around the impact of trauma and how they can best offer support.

Download our Pre-trial Support Service flyer.

Where the work takes place

The service is delivered at Family Action offices or at a suitable alternative location chosen by the family such as a school, GP surgery or community centre.

How we work

We work in a child-focused way:

  • We involve the child in planning the support they receive.
  • We encourage the parent/carer to be involved in the support, where appropriate. This may involve attending the end of each session, or receiving telephone feedback from the social worker, with the child’s agreement.
  • We seek the agreement of the police and, where possible, the Crown Prosecution Service for support to take place.
  • We explain before therapeutic support commences that under no circumstances can we talk during sessions about the evidence that has been provided to the police and the reasons for this. We also make clear that case notes of each session will be written up and can subsequently be requested by a court.

Making a referral

Families can refer themselves to the service or they can be referred by GPs, CAMHs, schools, Children’s Services, the police, and voluntary organisations. If you have any queries, or would like to discuss your referral before submitting it, then please call 0116 216 8334 or email [email protected]

Parents/carers can make referrals over the phone, or by downloading the Referral Form or requesting a paper copy from [email protected]

Professionals can make referrals on behalf of parents/carers and children using the referral form.

You can read our data privacy notice here.

Contact Details

Find us

Family Action
Pre-trial Support Service
Fosse Neighbourhood Centre
Mantle Road

Tel: 0116 216 8334
Email: [email protected]

Find out more about our Post Sexual Abuse Service.