We provide services for children from our purpose-built children’s centre, Stephen’s Place. The centre is bright, warm and child-focused. Themed rooms have a wide variety of play equipment, chosen to help parents interact easily with their children. Light refreshments for children and their families are freely available in the kitchens.
We provide a therapeutic service for children and young people affected by domestic violence. This is free for children and young people aged between three and 17 years, who live in the London Boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Hounslow, Ealing and Wandsworth.
Our service aims to lessen the impacts of domestic violence. Research has shown that the impact of domestic abuse on children is considerable, and can be as serious as the impact on children who have been directly abused. We offer children and young people a safe, consistent and confidential space to work through their difficult experiences and feelings.
Our therapists are child psycotherapists, play and creative arts therapists with specific training in domestic abuse issues in clinical practice. They are members of professional bodies such as PTUK, BAPT,BPS, BACP, UCKP and registered with Health Professionals Councils (HPC) or Professionals Standards Agency (PSA). They and are bound by a strict code of ethics. They receive one-to-one specialist clinical supervision and they are fully DBS (formerly CRB) checked.
We tailor therapy to the child’s needs and age. For younger children, we use play therapy to explore their feelings; for older children and young people we use a range of exploratory therapeutic techniques including the creative arts.
Therapy is short to long-term: we usually see a child on a weekly basis for up to five months. This gives time to build a trusting relationship between the child and his or her therapist. Each session is 50 minutes and usually takes place between 10am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Our service is by appointment only. We accept referrals from professionals, parents and young people themselves. After a referral, we carry out an assessment with the child and their parent or main carer, to confirm whether therapy is suitable and meets the child’s needs.
We are please to announce that DVIP’s Children’s Therapy Team is piloting a new form of family therapy called Filial Play Coaching. We have called our service “Together Time”. Filial play is a therapeutic approach that coaches parents and carers to bond with their children through play by teaching parents basic child-centred, non-directive play skills, and building their confidence in taking such an approach with their children. This has been proven to be especially effective for children who have witnessed or experienced domestic abuse because the parent child bond has been adversely affected by the abuse.