Children and Teen Advocates (City)
In Nottingham city, we provide a range of services to support children, young people and teenagers who have experienced domestic violence and abuse. Our teen advocate service includes the following:
- A personalised package of practical advocacy and emotional support to female teenagers aged 13-17 years experiencing abuse in their intimate relationships.
- Safety planning – to address the specific risks to teenagers including, but not limited to, Sexual Exploitation, Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage and online abuse.
In most cases 16 and 17-year-olds will be referred to the Multi-Agency Referral Assessment Conference (MARAC) to further the support given between specialised agencies. The advocacy service will work flexibly with teenagers in order to obtain their engagement and be aware of the high level of normalisation of domestic violence and abuse in teenage relationships.
The children we support have frequently seen traumatic scenes and witnessed physical violence, emotional and psychological harm. They're also likely to have gone through a range of experiences due to the abuse that happened within the home. This includes providing evidence at court, being removed from the home, seeing a parent imprisoned, struggling with child contact arrangements, bedwetting, nightmares, self-harming, lack of attainment and attendance at school and even suicidal ideation.
The Children and Teens (CAT) team support children to talk about their feelings and have their story listened to. The team helps them to understand that they are not to blame and teach them about what a healthy relationship should look like and how to keep safe. We work with children for between 6-12 weeks depending on their support needs and situation. The support work can either be done as one-to-one support that takes place weekly for around an hour in a safe space such as school or within a therapeutic group setting, again often within a school or community setting.