Support for children

Support and Counselling for Children aged 5-10 years - Parent/Carer Information

PARCS are able to offer free specialist support and counselling to young survivors of rape/sexual abuse aged 5-10 years. The service covers Portsmouth and South East Hampshire. Sessions take place at our specialist centre in Portsmouth on Saturdays. To refer a child for counselling please contact the PARCS office on 02392669513. Counselling sessions will last for 50 minutes once a week for up to 12 weeks.


Initial Assessment

We invite the parent/carer along to the first session in order to meet with the counsellor. This initial meeting is important because it provides you with an opportunity to ask any questions that you may have about PARCS or about counselling in general. During this initial meeting the counsellor will take time to learn more about your child and complete an assessment.

The second meeting provides an opportunity for your child to meet the counsellor and to visit PARCS. This is a joint session and the counsellor will explain what happens in counselling and answer any questions that your child might have. The counsellors often use play (sand, puppets, art and music) to help with this process.


The Counselling

If you and the counsellor agree that PARCS is the right organisation to help your child then the next step is to agree the dates and times of the sessions. During counselling children have opportunities to explore what has happened to them and begin to make sense of their thoughts and feelings. It may be that your child does not want to talk about the abuse in detail and that is okay. It is not unusual. The counsellor will work at the pace that suits each child, helping them to move forward in a positive way.

The counselling sessions are confidential, however, if a counsellor believes that a child may be at risk of harm, they may need to talk to other professionals to ensure the child's safety.