Over the previous 12 month, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has provided funding for one part-time ISVA Support Worker and one full-time ISVA Theraputic Worker.
They are based at the SARC Teesside to provide support alongside existing ISVA provision. They ensure children across Cleveland and their families have access to ISVA support.
ISVA Support Worker
This service will provide emotional and practical support throughout the Criminal Justice Process to anyone under 18, who has experienced sexual violence acutely or historically .
It will ensure the specific needs of children and young people are met by specialists in the field of child development and the impact of trauma.
The needs of additional family members are also assessed during initial visits and throughout engagement with the service. This ensures additional support is put in place as/when required.
ISVA Therapeutic Worker
Funding will enable the work of an ISVA Therapeutic Worker to continue. The role was established based on client feedback, which identified a gap in service provision.
The role ensures children and young people can recover from their experiences in the Criminal Justice Process from report to court.
Many young people say that they find the trial more traumatising than the incident itself. In 2012/13, the SARC recorded 470 clients across Teesside, of whom 195 were under 18 and 156 were under 16.
Therefore, the need for this service is crucial to ensure children and young people can access necessary support in a timely manner.
By continuing the funding, services can remain in place. They will provide an holistic approach to child services from early intervention following disclosure/report to closure following a court case or decision to discontinue.
This funding supports two of the PCCs Police and Crime Plan objectives:
- Delivering a better deal for victims and witnesses and
- Ensuring better links between agencies to make best use of resources.
Both roles will play a major part in ensuring young victims are able to cope and recover from the effects of horrendous crimes.
Preventing and responding to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a high priority. This funding supports the development of the Barnardo’s SECOS Project by allowing an increase in capacity for the CSE workers.
CSE workers previously undertook the role of ISVA in addition to their substantive roles. If CSE workers have greater capacity, it enables them to further build trusting relationships with young people who may then feel comfortable to make disclosures of sexual violence.