Historical Abuse Policy

Joanna North Associates Ltd – Adoption Support Agency

Updated June 2020

From our work with clients we are aware that a special situation arises when a child or adult may have experienced some abuse in their past that begins to affect their thinking and life and behaviour.  We want you to know that our Counselling Director is very experienced at working with people who have in their life history experiences of sexual, physical or emotional abuse or neglect.  During a process of therapeutic care or tracing birth relatives these memories can easily arise and come to the surface.  Children may even have realizations from the past that you had not thought were there and this can be disturbing and upsetting.  We would like children or adults working with us to feel that they can raise any of these experiences freely and easily with us as we will want to support and help them to think clearly about how any historical or past abuse may have affected their life. 

It is often the case that once difficult or traumatic scenarios from the past have been reflected on and talked about that any stress or anxiety in relation to the matter will reduce and the trauma will cease to be so debilitating.  We have expertise in helping with trauma in relation to past abuse and we will deal with all of this work in confidence and with sensitivity.  We can only do this if the issue is raised with us.  

In relation to children and young people and adults we are very aware that past trauma and historical abuse will deeply affect their behaviour and we aim to work together to assist with easing the stress and trauma that may be affecting their thinking and disturbing their behaviour.  Again we have expertise and much experience in these matters and we can talk to individuals and help with this.

Please be assured that we are here to support staff too in all matters that may arise for you while you are working with us and we hope you will feel free to talk with us if you are troubled by helping children with any of these matters by raising them in your supervision and reflective practice.

Historical abuse will have to be reported to relevant authorities as a safeguarding measure but this will be done tactfully and with sensitivity.  This will include the child’s social worker and or (with their advice) the police.  All abuse cases will ultimately be reported to Ofsted.  It has to be born in mind that historically an abuser may still be a risk to children and for this reason historical abuse has to be considered as significant as current abuse.     

All concerns about historical abuse should be reported to the relevant authorities – i.e. police, children’s social worker or Ofsted, Lado or Safeguarding Hub.  This will be done through Joanna North.    

Children will have to be informed of this action in a tactful manner that helps them to feel safe.