We have specialist advisors for children who have significant experience of supporting young people and their families through the criminal justice system.
Children and Young People are entitled to a range of special measures to help them give evidence in court – these can be explained to you by your dedicated advisor.
We can help facilitate access to specialist aftercare services so that you have the best chance of embarking on a positive and healthy future. We will work with our partner agencies, including the NSPCC to make sure that you or your child receives the highest level of care and support.
We can also make a referral into the Pre-Trial Art Therapy Service to give your child additional support leading up to a court hearing.
What can you expect from our Children’s Service
- Compassionate and Independent Service
- A dedicated female advisor
- A safe, comfortable and child friendly place to meet
- Full explanation of the Criminal Justice System
- One to One support & Guidance through the Investigation and Court Process
- Daily/weekly Telephone Support
- Attendance as your representative at Interviews & Court Appearances
- Pre-court visits & introduction to Witness Care Staff
- Assistance with Criminal Injuries Compensation
- Information and support to help you report a crime to the Police/Social Services
- Fast-track referral pathways to supporting agencies
- Coping skills for family members
- Liaison between you, the Police, CPS, Social Services, NSPCC and Barristers etc
- Signposting and referral to other specialist agencies
- A bespoke care plan just for you
For a child that has been abused, giving evidence in court can be very distressing. Our independent advisors provide child-focused support that prepares and guides children and their loved ones through the court process and witness testimony.
Our advisors can help children in their role as young witnesses to be more confident and better equipped to give a full and accurate account in court.
They will make sure that your child is:
- prepared and able to answer critical questions
- able to understand, and not feel intimidated by, the courtroom and legal process
- able to understand the words or phrases being used in court
- able to relax, keep calm and reduce anxiety & fear
- aware of the time scale involved and prepared for any long periods of waiting
- knowledgeable about the special measures that are in place to help young people give evidence in court i.e. video-link
- able to access materials such as the NSPCC/ChildLine Young Witness Pack, model courtrooms and the NSPCC/ChildLine video, ‘Giving Evidence – what’s it really like?’
- able to take advantage of a pre-court visit so that they can familiarise themselves with the court room and staff
During the Trial
Your child will be supported by an independent advisor. However, special permission will need to be granted from the judge for your advisor to be present. The support your children will receive will include:
- sitting with your child in the TV link room or near them in the courtroom subject to agreement of the court
- staying with the child during breaks in evidence and help them to remain as calm as possible.
After the Trial
Your advisor will:
- help the child and their carers understand what has happened at court, including dealing with any confusing feelings about the outcome of the trial
- refer children to therapeutic treatment services to help them overcome the long-term effects of abuse. Our overall aim is to reduce the distress experienced by young witnesses and help them give their evidence as clearly as possible.
Our overall aim is to reduce the distress experienced by young witnesses and help them to lead a happy and healthy life long after the court case has ended.