Therapeutic intervention rated by children and young people

Evaluation of the NSPCC’s therapeutic work with children and young people aged 8 to 17 years shows many positive outcomes.

Children reported liking their worker; felt their worker was on their side; and believed they were working together positively to deal with problems in the child’s life.

The intervention is called Letting the Future In and is designed to assist children in their recovery from sexual abuse. The children included in this sample (128) received an average of 16 individual sessions and a further four sessions jointly with their ‘safe carer’ (70% of whom were mothers). Direct work also takes place separately with carers.

A control group of 114 children, on the waiting list for the intervention, allowed comparisons to be made. The research report indicates the large control group makes this “the largest randomised controlled trial of a therapeutic intervention for child sexual abuse ever undertaken”.

Older children (8-17) who received therapeutic interventions were found to have significantly lower levels of anxiety, trauma and dissociation* than those on the waiting list, at the six-month mark. Interestingly, a low proportion (more than 15%) of children reported feeling angry at the start of the work, and the same number remained angry at the six-month mark.

However, there were no significant changes for young children (aged below eight) who received the interventions, compared with those who had been on the waiting list.

The independent research report can be found here.

* “a conscious or unconscious disruption in a person’s awareness, feelings, thoughts, behaviour and memories in order to reduce psychological distress”