Child Sexual Abuse Support

Sexual abuse includes engaging children and young people in sexual activities including sexual assault. It also includes non-contact abuse such as involving children and young people in looking at pornographic material and sending sexually inappropriate messages (including social media).

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) provide help for children and young people who may be experiencing problems with their emotional or psychological wellbeing.this service. For more information please view this guide on how to self refer.

Guidance and useful information

It’s difficult to understand what your child is going through if you haven’t experienced it yourself, or why it happened to them. You should try and imagine being in their shoes, experiencing what they’re feeling, and not question or doubt them. You should reassure your child that you are there for them, a hug and a kiss can make a world of difference.

It is important that children and young people are listened to, believed and kept safe. Take a look at the case studies and weblinks provided for additional supporting information if you are worried about child sexual abuse.

How can we help?

We can help by supporting families to come to terms with abuse and to work individually with children and young people to help them recover from the trauma that abuse can often cause. Our specialist child abuse team (Journey After Child Abuse Team – JACAT) helps children and young people individually and with their families. Staff are trained in trauma work and sensitively help to find ways of recovering from the effects of abuse.

What happens next?

As soon as possible after the Request for Service (usually within 6-8 weeks), the child or young person will be invited to meet with one or two team members for 1-4 sessions to help us get a good understanding of the particular difficulties they are facing (everyone responds differently when things like this happen to them) and what their goals for therapy are. We will also think about what would be the best way of meeting their needs.

These early sessions will include a lot of conversations, but also we will ask them to fill in some questionnaires to help us see how they are doing – we will ask them to do these as they go through therapy so we can track how effective this is being.

Self referral

You can now self-refer your child into this service. For more information please view this guide on how to self refer.

For details of what the service supports and what supporting documentation you require for your referral, please view the request criteria page.

Where will my child be seen?

We work across the whole county so children and young people can be seen in Exeter, Barnstaple, or Totnes and sometimes elsewhere e.g. Newton Abbot or Tiverton if required.

Once they start, sessions last about 50 minutes. The child or young person and their therapist will decide if it is best for the meetings to be weekly or fortnightly and who should come to them.

It is hard to predict how long the child or young person will need to attend sessions because it can vary so much, but we will use their goals and questionnaire responses as well as what they think to decide together when to finish.

What is the process?

Location of Centres

We will arrange to see you at a location convenient to you or near to your home, which may or may not be listed below. You should not visit the locations below unless we have sent you an appointment and requested that you do. If you need help please contact us using the number on this page.

Emergency Number

0345 600 0388 is the telephone number for out of hours emergencies – this number is provided by Devon County Council Children & Young People’s Services (Emergency Duty Team).

If you are worried about your child out of normal working hours and think you need additional help in an emergency, please use this telephone number. If you or your child is in imminent danger please go directly to your local A&E or ring the police.

0345 600 0388


Children and Family Health Devon

Single Point of Access Team
1a Capital Court
Bittern Road
Sowton Industrial Estate
Exeter EX2 7FW

t: 0330 0245 321

Useful documents

Request for Service Form