The sunflowers project works with children and young people who have been directly or indirectly impacted by sexual abuse. Our service works with children and young people between the ages of 6-18 years. However, when referrals for younger children are made, at times it may be deemed more appropriate to complete work with the main caregiver, rather than the child.
How support works:
Once the Sunflowers Project has received a referral, a letter will be sent to the main caregiver with a date to complete an initial phone assessment. This phone assessment is to gain a brief overview of the child’s current situation and to explore both risk and protective factors. This initial assessment will also establish which strand of support will be most beneficial for the child. After the initial telephone assessment, the child will either be offered advocacy support or counselling support.
If counselling is deemed the most appropriate support for the child, they will then be placed on our counselling waiting list. Waiting times can vary, and we are only able to approximate waiting times after the initial assessment has been completed. Once a counsellor becomes available, they will contact the main care giver to arrange the first counselling appointment. The first 3 counselling sessions are a further assessment to ensure that both the worker and the service are able to effectively meet the child’s needs.
Counsellors integrate different therapeutic approaches to meet the individual needs of each and every child, and will work in creative and fun ways so that the therapy is accessible to the child, and that children are given the freedom to be able to effectively communicate and express their emotions.
Advocacy support is designed to support children through the criminal justice process when there is an ongoing investigation in relation to the abuse that the child has experienced. An assessment will initially be completed with the main caregiver of the child, and then the advocate will meet the child and develop a support plan that meets the needs of the child.
Counselling and advocacy appointments take place at our Bootle and Birkenhead bases.