Get help Our services Next Steps Project *** THIS PROJECT IS CURRENTLY CLOSED TO NEW REFERRALS UNITL NEW FUNDING IS SECURED*** The impact of domestic abuse on children and young people is immense and can often affect them for the rest of their lives. The NSPCC has reported that contacts to their helpline about domestic abuse has increased 32% since the start of lockdown. Children and young people do not have to see the violence to be affected by it, studies show that this experience can harm children and young people both physically and emotionally and as adults they are more likely to suffer from depression, engage in risky behaviours, abuse drugs and alcohol, experience or use violence and manipulation in relationships and be homeless. Stars Dorset has partnered with Nu Waves to create a new supportive package for children and young people called Next Steps. The aim of Next Steps is to support children and young people to overcome the impacts of domestic abuse. Once a child or young person is living in a safe environment, Next Steps can offer a range of free services to encourage them to develop self- awareness and emotional resilience, identify and nurture positive relationships, increase self-esteem and learn healthy coping mechanisms facilitating the management of strong emotions and behaviours. Group Work 9–17-year-olds can access an 8-week nationally accredited course which will be running across four locations over the next 12 months. The groups will be made of up to 8 children/young people all of whom will have experienced or witnessed domestic abuse. This similar lived experience helps them to feel understood and less isolated. Topics include the impact of abuse and control, building self-esteem, managing anger, understanding healthy relationships, and staying safe. The course uses a range of approaches including CBT, arts and crafts, case studies and games, all designed to encourage discussion and create a safe and supportive environment. 121 mentoring Under 9’s will be given the opportunity to access the Healing Together 121 mentoring programme. Run by accredited Healing Together facilitators, this trauma informed programme offers six 1-hour sessions and is a gentle creative approach designed to help children learn about how their body and brain can work together to help them feel safe and calm. If young people feel unable to engage in group work, 121 sessions may also be offered to them. Counselling Next Steps also offers the opportunity for the children and young people to access Stars Dorset’s Children and Young People Counselling Service. This service provides a safe and confidential environment where a young person can talk about their feelings and the impact of their experience. They can help explore and address thoughts and behaviours that are overwhelming. All our Children and Young Persons counsellors have been specifically trained to work with children. Starting in March 2021 the Next Steps package will offer support for up to 120 children and young people across Dorset over the next 12 months. Please contact [email protected] for more information or complete the referral form here to request access to this project.