About Imara

Imara is a specialist service that supports children, young people and their family following a disclosure of child sexual abuse. Our referrals are received directly from the Nottingham Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit and we support our clients from a Legal, Advocacy and Therapeutic perspective. Unlike many services, who are limited to short pieces of work and interventions, Trauma Care support will be provided to families for a minimum of 12 months, including young people and vulnerable adults within the family network. They work closely with all the agencies involved in Safeguarding Children and Young People to ensure everyone has comprehensive, relevant and up to date information.

Imara aims to promote the recovery of children, young people and their families after a disclosure or discovery of child sexual abuse, by offering early intervention in the form of: 

  • Information, advice and consistent contact throughout the judicial process
  • Specialist assessment and referral on to appropriate support agencies and access to pre-trial therapy
  • Support with education, health, housing and financial concern

We aim to provide specialist support and relevant information in a sensitive and responsive way and thus empower children, young people and their families.

Our Trauma Care Practitioners

Throughout the process of supporting clients, we look at how they have been affected by the impact of recent serious trauma in their life and by the on-going investigation that has followed their disclosure and we continue to support them through the Criminal Justice System. 

There are three main strands to support families, all of which are focussed on helping the victim and family to rebuild safety and regain stability.  

Our Legal Trauma Care Worker will first visit the family to assess what support they may need before linking them with other TCWs in the team. Imara’s Legal support works to increase the active  participation of the victim and their family throughout the Police investigation, the Criminal Justice Process and beyond, through:

  • Enabling families to understand the Police and Criminal Justice Process and the decisions that are made
  • Being present to support the victim and family during police Video Recorded Interviews, medical examinations and if applicable, court hearings.
  • Improving the safety of victims and their family members through liaison with Police and the implementation of practical measures.
  • Maintaining effective partnership with the Nottinghamshire Police, Child Abuse Investigation Unit enabling information and timely updates.
  • Reducing the anxiety of the victim and their family throughout the Police investigation and the Criminal Justice Process.

After such a devastating event, we recognise that families may experience difficulties coping with practical issues, which previously presented no problems to them. Their family structure and network is also likely to have been affected by the disclosure, possibly leading to a parent or carer leaving the family home. Our Advocacy Trauma Care Worker works with victims and their families to increase their active participation in everyday activities, enabling their voices to be heard and understood.  

Imara’s Advocacy support aims to achieve this through:

  • Reducing the anxiety and stigma of a victim and their family as they interact with their communities, society, and professional agencies.
  • Being present at multi-agency meetings to represent or support clients and to accompany clients to appointments such as with health, education and housing.
  • Increasing  the physical and emotional well-being of our clients by improving access and engagement with support services and making referrals to appropriate agencies for additional support when necessary
  • Maintaining effective partnerships with professional agencies such as Children’s Social Care, NHS and schools; enabling information-sharing and timely intervention.
  • Empowering the victim and their family to understand and believe that their wishes, feelings and hopes are important and will be heard.

Imara can offer therapeutic support, both pre and post investigation and trial, to increase emotional and physical wellbeing for the victim and their family, enabling them to cope with the impact of childhood sexual abuse. 

Therapeutic Trauma Care Workers meet with victims and their families to assess their wellbeing, and focus on building their resources to aid recovery through:

  • Reducing acute stress symptoms and likelihood of developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder though early recognition and intervention; using grounding techniques to help with symptoms such asleeplessness, anxiety and intrusive memories.
  • Increasing individuals’ understanding of how this trauma affected them; normalising the experience of their behaviours and feelings.
  • Assessing individuals for post-traumatic symptoms and dissociative experiences; feeding this information into the professional network to further equip professionals in supporting the child
  • Increasing access to medium and long term therapy both pre and post-trial, by signposting to appropriate services.
  • Maintaining links with agencies such as CAMHS and specialist counselling services, enabling information sharing and appropriate and timely referrals. 

How you can help us

We rely entirely on funding and donations to deliver the service that we offer. You can help support Imara by donating money, volunteering and organising fundraising events. For more information on fundraising for Imara, please contact us for a fundraising pack

If your company operate a ‘charity of the year’ scheme or looking for a voluntary organisation to support, please email us and let us know how we can be put forward for selection.