At our SARC, children and young people will be offered support and guidance, a medical assessment/treatment, a forensic examination, and the opportunity for aftercare referrals into support services. They will be offered these services based on their individual needs, and can choose to use as much or as little of our service as they wish.
During this time, we are completing COVID-19 risk assessments, prior to attendance and the SARC, and we may complete some aspects of the holistic assessment over the phone.
One of our specially trained Doctors/Nurses will go through a medical assessment with the child (and their parent/guardian, if appropriate). This will include a few questions about what has happened, as well as some questions about their medical history, any medication they take, and any symptoms/problems they are experiencing at the time.
If something has happened to the child or young person within the past 7 days, depending on the circumstances of the incident, we might offer an examination which can help to preserve any evidence. We can offer this to self-referrals, even if they don’t want to involve the Police at the moment but feel that you might want to in the future. The examination will be carried out by one of our specially trained Doctors/Nurses, and the child or young person will be supported by one of our Support Workers throughout. Each stage will be explained beforehand so that the child or young person (and their parents/guardians, where appropriate) are clear about what is involved and why it is required. We will ensure that the child or young person agrees to each part of the examination before it is carried out. They can pause or discontinue with the examination at any point.
To learn more about our medical examinations for children and young people, please click here.
Following sexual violence or sexual abuse, young people may benefit from certain medications, which we may be able to offer at our centre (depending on age and Gillick Competence). If we do not stock the medication they require, we will be able to refer them to other services (such as their GP or Sexual Health) to receive the treatment they need.
We can also refer children and young people to Sexual Health services for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI).
Although children and young people will only be with our team at the SARC for a short amount of time (typically 4-6 hours), we want to make sure that they receive the ongoing aftercare and support they need.
It is likely that our Doctor/Nurse and Support Worker will refer the child or young person into other helpful services, who will be able to offer them additional support following their appointment with us. These services might include (but are not limited to); sexual health, their GP, as well as the West Merica Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WMRSASC) for counselling and Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) support.
To learn more about WMRASASC, and other helpful support services, please click here.
Everything we are told by children and young people, during their visit to our SARC, is treated in confidence and only shared with those agencies/services which need to know, in order to protect them from harm.
We will always speak to children/young people or their parents or guardians (as appropriate for their age) about how we process their information and who it may need to be shared with in order to protect the young person and ensure they get the ongoing care and support they need.