Tiptoes Child Therapy Services

 "The longer the time between disclosure and starting therapy the greater the likelihood of the child developing reinforced inappropriate responses and behaviours"

Pre-Trial Therapy

Children have historically been denied therapy pending the outcome of the criminal trial for fear;

A) That the evidence would be tainted and the prosecution lost.
B) On the part of the therapist, that the unique and confidential nature of their work will be jeopardised and case notes demanded by the defence.
Further, two issues that needed to be safeguarded, were seen as conflicting:

A) The interests of the traumatised child witness.
B) The defendants right to a fair trial.

We have considerable experience in undertaking therapy before and during criminal, family and private proceedings. We are happy to liase with all professional parties to ensure that proposed therapeutic interventions do not adversely affect the proceedings. The child or young persons therapy is subject to and dependent on confidentiality. However, our levels of professional transparency have enabled us to feedback to the courts where necessary without breaking confidentiality.

'The earlier therapeutic intervention takes place following trauma, the better the chance of healing and amoeliorating the effects.'

Bentovim et al 1998

Guidance

There is often confusion around when therapy can take place when legal proceedings are imminent or ongoing despite the fact that there is very clear guidance supporting its provision.

  • Article 3 of the European Convention on the Rights of the Child makes it quite clear that;
  • 'In all actions concerning children, whatever body may undertake them, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration'
  • 1995 the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child advised the British Government to;
  • 'Implement more effective strategies to promote the physical psychological and social recovery of the child victims of neglect, sexual exploitation and abuse,
  • MOGP (HO, DoH 1992) - States that after the joint interview;
  • 'It should be possible for appropriate counselling and therapy to take place'
  • SSI (DoH 1991 & 1994) - Recognises that professional wish;
  • 'For a damaged child to have the benefit of therapeutic help'
  • Utting 1997;
  • 'It is important that children get as much help and support as possible and that the prospects of a successful prosecution are not affected'
  • Provision of Therapy for Child Witnesses Prior to a Criminal Trial (HO, CPS DH 2001) states;
  • 'vulnerable or intimidated witnesses should not be denied the emotional support and counselling they may need both before and after the trial'