Cath's 1st Thought Leadership Vlog

April saw the launch of the new East Midlands Paediatric Sexual Assault Referral Centre, the first of its kind in Nottingham. This is a huge step in the right direction to improve and standardise the support available to children and young people who experience sexual abuse, and a success moment for us at Imara as it is something we have been fighting the case for for a long time. 

The new SARC, called the East Midlands Children and Young People's Sexual Assault Services, sees a number of changes to our current work and systems, starting first with our referral pathway. We no longer receive referrals directly from Notts Police, as all children and young people who disclose or are discovered should first be seen at the SARC, before then being referred onto longer term support services. We have been sub-contracted to provide this in the form of 10 therapy sessions to children and young people aged 0-18 in Nottingham City, alongside Notts SVSS who will support over 13s in the City and Safe Time who will support children and young people in Nottinghamshire County, as well as CAMHS.  We of course will continue seeing all of our current clients and any former clients who need support again, and are hoping that our own funding will allow us to also offer therapy and support to the families of the young people referred to us as we currently do, and to extend beyond the 10 therapy sessions when we and the young person feel that is what is needed. 

(The legal and advocacy side of our work will change soon too with the launch of the new ChISVA (Child Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) service in July, entitling every child or young person that has experienced sexual abuse in the county to an independent advocate to act as their single point of contact, assess and help them with any needs and support them through the legal system.)

Our Director Cath reflects on these changes and new services in the vlog below, as well as talking about how we will fit in. She also reveals why we are called Imara and the meaning behind our tree logo, which we know often stumps people - pun intended!

We had hoped to get the vlog up at the beginning of April to mark the launch of the Paediatric SARC but unfortunately suffered sound issues with the audio cutting out in the middle of the video - this is our first time recording a video in this style and we are still learning! At first we thought we may have to scrap the whole video but we decided that mistakes happen and we wouldn't be deterred and let the rest of the video that we were happy with go to waste. We hope the subtitles make the video understandable and enjoyable regardless of the sound issues, and has the added benefit of making the video more accessible for all and appropriate for mobile devices where people often watch without sound anyway! At the end of the day we are a charity and on a limited budget so have to figure out filming our own videos despite not being experts. Plus the vlog is supposed to be a less formal and more personal style so we hope the quality of the content is more important than the professionalism of the delivery in this case. At least we have learned for next time!

This is the first in what will hopefully be a series of thought leadership vlogs that we were recently recommended to create as a way of sharing our expertise and learning about supporting young survivors of sexual abuse and their families, trauma recovery and creative arts therapies, in order to contribute to best practice and assert ourselves as an expert voice in the field.

If there is any other areas of expertise you would like Cath to discuss and share in upcoming thought leadership vlogs, please let us know here.

You can read more about Cath's background and expertise, as well as meet the rest of the team, here.