CARI Therapy & Support Services
What does CARI offer?
CARI provides child-centred therapy for children and adolescents who have been affected by sexual abuse. CARI also provides therapy to children up to the age of 12 who present with sexually harmful behaviours.
CARI’s therapy services enable children, adolescents and their families heal from the impact of CSA. Children, adolescents and their parents can only access our therapy service once they have reported to Tusla.
We provide Advice Appointments (AAs) to parents while they are still in the process of reporting child sexual abuse to Tusla. We also offer ongoing support sessions to parents while their child is awaiting and undergoing Tusla’s assessment.
Once the child sexual abuse has been reported, a social worker fills out a referral form to send to CARI. We also take referrals from GP’s, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) and other relevant professionals.
When the referral has been received, CARI will offer an appointment to the parent/carer to ensure we can provide the most appropriate service for the child or adolescent. This appointment will assess the therapeutic needs of the child/adolescent.
Child and Adolescent Therapy
Therapy enables a child or adolescent to express and explore his/her feelings and make sense of their experiences in a safe environment. At CARI we use different therapeutic modalities to enable the child/adolescent to explore their feelings.
These include talking, play therapy and art therapy and they help children and adolescents develop a healthy way of coping with their feelings.
Therapy progresses at the child/adolescent’s pace and they can have as much or as little time as they need. Therapy sessions are usually held weekly.
This what our young clients say about their therapy:
“I don’t have a pain in my belly anymore.”
“I can start to feel comfortable in my body again.”
In CARI, we believe it is important to work with the child/adolescent’s family as well as the child or adolescent who has experienced the sexual abuse. This is because CSA can impact the family as a whole. We work with the non-abusing parents, siblings and – where appropriate – extended family members who may assist in the child’s recovery.
If the child is in the care of the TUSLA, CARI will work with the foster parents, residential care staff and social worker responsible for the child. While children are attending CARI, their parents or carers are offered parental support sessions
Parental sessions offer a space for parents to discuss their fears and worries about their child or adolescent. The therapist will assist parents to develop a language and a skillset to use to support their child in everyday life.
This is what parents & carers say about our support:
“Cari has helped me understand child sexual abuse. I wouldn’t have realised what trauma was. I just thought he has being a typical teenager with attitude.”