The Young Victims’ Service is made up of five Young Victim’s Advocates who cover the Avon and Somerset area. We use a range of methods including face to face and online work with young people drawing on young people’s strengths in order to empower them to move forward from their experience.
- Based on up to seven sessions with a young person tailored to their needs. Sometimes we will only meet once or twice, depending on their assessed support requirements.
- Use phone, text, email, skype and face to face contact with parents and young people as appropriate.
- Meet in school or college and/or at home or in their local community.
We use play, games, storytelling and arts and crafts as well as conversation to allow the individual to feel comfortable and explore their needs. Work with young people can encompass:
- Listening to the situation, the way the young person sees it, whilst remaining independent.
- Helping them to work out their own solution.
- Exploring feelings around the incident, why we have them and what we can do with them.
- Giving clear information, advice and guidance for their journey.
- Using a range of tools to build confidence and create opportunities for the young person.
- Supporting with attending court and giving evidence, e.g. setting up a court visit with the Witness Service.
- Working with police and other agencies to support effective reporting and outcomes.
With very young children we use specialist play approaches. Three of our advocates have specific skills in this area of work.
Where necessary, we will refer the child/young person on for further support from a specialist agency.
Our service needs consent from parents for a referral (unless 16 or self-referring and considered able to consent)
The young person can be referred by anyone, including themselves. The incident does not have to have been reported to the Police.