Letting the Future In Helping children who have been sexually abused
Sexual abuse can turn a child's life upside down. Letting the Future In helps children who've been sexually abused to rebuild their lives, so they can overcome the past and start looking to the future with hope.
How it works
We see boys and girls aged 4 to 17 in our special play therapy rooms. They do things like messy play, writing, storytelling and art to help express feelings that they can’t put into words.
Play is a natural way for children to express themselves. They can safely work through past experiences and come to understand and move on from what has happened.
We start by meeting for three or four weekly sessions to get an understanding of the child’s needs. Over time they will get to know us and begin to open up about their feelings. It can take up to a year before they are ready to move on.
We also talk to their parents or carers to help the whole family. Parents and carers of children who have been sexually abused can play a really important role in helping their child recover. They are offered some individual support and some joint sessions with the child.
Disabled children are over 3 times more likely to be abused than non-disabled children. That's why we've adapted our Letting the Future In service for learning disabled children aged 4-19.
We'll be applying learnings from our Letting the Future In evaluation into the development of this service.
Letting the Future In helps children who've been sexually abused begin to rebuild theirs, thanks to trained practitioners like Chris.
"I asked her if anyone had touched her anywhere private other than me or her father."
Read Helen and Maisie’s story
Evaluating the impact
Find out how we evaluated Letting the Future In and how we can help you deliver it in your area.
Commission or directly deliver this service in your local area
We want more children and young people to be able to benefit from Letting the Future In. So as well as delivering the programme in some of our service centres, we want to provide training and support to other organisations to help their local teams implement and deliver it in their area.
Letting the Future In:
- will provide you with the confidence and assurance that you are delivering a robust, evidence-based service, recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence;
- can be delivered by therapists or social care professionals who receive additional training, allowing for children and young people to receive the support they need without having to be escalated to services at a higher threshold;
- is a cost-effective solution, with an average cost of £2,300 per case compared to an average case for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Teams of almost £5,000;
- helps to provide more integrated support for the child or young person and improve their outcomes through joint strategic working when commissioned and implemented by multiple-agencies together;
- uses a validated measure to allow you to assess the change in levels of trauma at the beginning, during and at the end of the intervention;
- consists of a comprehensive, bespoke training and implementation support package which helps your local teams to embed its use and deliver the service effectively, sustainably and in a cost-efficient way.
Our training and implementation support package includes:
- a licence to deliver the service in accordance with the model but with the flexibility to meet local needs and practice;
- pre-implementation support to assess readiness and understand training needs;
- pre-training workshop for senior managers to work with you to identify how you can make the most of the service and establish methods for ongoing evaluation and outcomes;
- a bespoke individual needs-assessed training programme; and
- on-going implementation support.
For more information, get in touch with our Scale-up Unit.
Where Letting the Future In is available
Assessing the Risk, Protecting the Child
Women as Protectors
Turn the Page
National Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (NCATS)
Harmful sexual behaviour
Are You There?
We're calling on the government to help our Childline service be there for every child dealing with meantal health issues.
Last year a third of all calls to our helpline were about neglect, a figure that's even higher at Christmas. Donate now and help shine a light on children left in the dark.