As part of our work to create safer places we also seek to help those who are, or have been affected by abuse or harm. In addition to the range of resources we have available, we also offer a Listening Service. This service is specifically for survivors of abuse to help them talk through their experiences, think about what actions or next steps they may want to take, and to support them in doing so.
What is the listening service?
The listening service offers the opportunity for adult survivors of abuse to talk about sensitive issues in detail and in confidence with a sensitive listener. All our listeners are professionally trained social workers, police officers or teachers and have significant experience in safeguarding and supporting those impacted. It is not counselling, but if it is felt that counselling is needed your listener may be able to help you access the required support.
What do listeners do?
The listener will enable you to:
- Tell your story and talk through your experiences and feelings,
- Think about what actions or next steps you want to take and support you in doing so,
- Help explore if more in depth counselling is appropriate,
- Provide information around agencies, support available and what is likely to next happen.
We provide an initial four sessions which will last for approximately one hour. During the fourth session a review of the service will be held. Further sessions or signposting will take place in consultation with the Commissioning Safeguarding Team.
Will it be kept in confidence?
In principle, what is shared remains confidential between you and the listener. There are however occasions when we are legally bound to breach confidentiality. This would be:
- If the Listener is concerned that you are a danger to yourself or others, or that others are at risk.
- There is information either direct, or third party, shared that raises safeguarding concerns to other members of the public.
A simple summary of discussions had will be recorded and shared with the client following each listening session. This record will be held by us, and treated with strict confidentiality. A record of dates and times of sessions will also be kept, however detail of the content will only be shared in line with the limits to confidentiality.
Do I have to be a Christian to access the listening service?
Anyone can access this service, whether they have a faith or no faith. If you want to talk about previous experiences, matters of faith or other aspects of Christian life, you will be able to do so, but you do not have to or need to.
Can I meet the listener face to face?
Our listening service is primarily a telephone service. There may however, be occasions when a face to face meeting would be more appropriate. This is possible, but will need to be negotiated between the Listener and the Commissioning Safeguarding Team.