The Consultation Assessment and Treatment Service (CATS) is a multidisciplinary psychological service working with children and young people up to 18 years of age who have engaged in, or are alleged to have engaged in, harmful sexual behaviour.
We work directly with children and young people up to 18 years of age who display sexually harmful behaviour. We offer help to control these behaviours in childhood and adolescence to prevent them becoming entrenched in the future. We work with children and young people community teams to identify those who may be appropriate for our service.
CATS carries out assessments and therapeutic interventions with children and their families. The team works closely with, and provides consultation to, the professional network around the child and family, to ensure a robust multi-agency response to safeguarding and supporting the child to move forward safely.
We aim to:
Provide psychological support to children and young people in West Sussex who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour.
Work with families, carers and professionals to develop strategies to support children and young people to move forwards safely.
Deliver training to professionals in West Sussex to enhance the wider understanding of harmful sexual behaviour.
Improve outcomes for children and young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour.
Initially we will meet with your child over a number of weeks to assess their behaviour and specific needs. There are many reasons why a young person may engage in inappropriate sexual behaviour and our assessment will look at some of these reasons and talk about them with you.
CATS will collaborate with other professionals involved in your child’s case. We will arrange meetings with you during this time and ask you to contribute to the assessment.
After our assessment is complete we will compile a comprehensive report which we will share with you. We will then discuss ways with you in which your child can be helped. This may involve meeting with your child on a weekly basis.
It may also involve regular meetings which include you as well as your child, other family members and professionals.
We appreciate that you may be under considerable pressure and stress and that this may be a very difficult time for you and your family. You may have coped alone with this and you may be experiencing disapproval or anger from family, friends, or the community.
We have experience of supporting families in these situations, and we are able to help and advise you.
As a parent or carer, you may play a vital role in helping your child address and change their worrying sexual behaviour.
You can help us get to know and understand your child. We need you to help us make sense of your child’s life experiences so far.
You can help us by encouraging your child to work with CATS.
We can help you to understand what has happened and why, and help make plans to support your child and to prevent this from happening again. We can help put plans in place which will aim to keep your child safe.
We can help you come to terms with the recent events and behaviour of your child. Parents often feel shocked and find it hard to believe what their child has done.
Parents often feel helpless, confused or angry. For some the revelation may bring back painful memories of past events.
Information discussed within sessions is treated as confidential. However, if we are concerned about the safety of a young person or another, we will share this information with other professionals as part of the Child Protection and Safeguarding policy. If this is the case, we will always try to inform those involved of what we are doing.