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.

Letting the Future In for learning disabled children

Young girl sat on sofa in service centre with mother and practionerDisabled 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.

Rebuilding lives

Letting the Future In helps children who've been sexually abused begin to rebuild theirs, thanks to trained practitioners like Chris. 

Chris's story

Children's stories

"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.

Learn more

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.

email us

Where Letting the Future In is available


020 3772 9905


01228 521 829


028 2044 1690


020 8253 1850

Foyle, NI

02820 441 753


01634 564688


01534 760800


0191 227 5300


01733 207620


01752 422577


01745 772100


0114 228 9200


02382 023 400

Stoke on Trent

01782 958100


01792 341 700


01793 683 100


01925 873 000


How referrals are made to Letting the Future In.

Find out more

Better outcomes for more children

How we're supporting partners to deliver our services.

Scale-up Unit

Assessing the Risk, Protecting the Child

We assess and work with adults to reduce the risk of child sexual abuse.
Assessing the Risk service

Women as Protectors

Helping mums and carers who are in contact with a man who poses a risk of sexual harm to children.
Women as Protectors service

Turn the Page

We protect children from the most common type of contact sexual abuse.
Turn the Page service

National Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (NCATS)

Treating young high risk people who show the most serious kinds of harmful sexual behaviour.
NCATS - National Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service

Donate now

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.

Make a donation

Sexual abuse

A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn't have to be physical contact, and it can happen online.
Read more about sexual abuse

Harmful sexual behaviour

Children and young people who develop harmful sexual behaviour harm themselves and others.
Read more about harmful sexual behaviour


Children and young people can be groomed online or in the real world, by a stranger or by someone they know - a family member, friend or professional. 
Read more about grooming

Donate now

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.

Make a donation

Are You There?

We're calling on the government to help our Childline service be there for every child dealing with meantal health issues. 

Learn more

Donate now

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.

Donate now