Why we do what we do.
An overview of our operating model and the "Theory of Change".
ACTS FAST is a UK leader in trauma informed care, taking a client centred approach to help every client move forwards following a CSA or indecent image disclosure. We stand with families because we understand the pain, isolation and loneliness that comes when a disclosure is made or when a loved one is involved with indecent images of children.
Our operating model has evolved over the years, combining well established theories with modern day, trauma informed care. Our working model is based on the theoretical practices of several clinically recognised models, combined with our own specialist experience of working with parents and carers. We have aspects of our model rooted in the work of:
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (1943) - which looks at the building of a person around progressive needs being met.
Chu's (1998) Stage orientated treatment model - helping a person move through stages of physiological fulfilment.
Finkelhor and Browne's Traumagenic Dynamic Model (1988) which explores the short and long term impact of sexual abuse and the interconnecting relationship on emotional orientation.
Trauma Informed care - our new and developing approach to holistic person care.
MODEL OF CARE
Our model of care is all about putting the family and the client at the very centre of the support we provide. We know that statutory services are incredibly stretched and that's likely to remain for the foreseeable future. Most services focus on the needs of the primary victim (rightly so!) - but this leaves the secondary victims (the parents/carers and other family members) living in the wake of the disclosures expanding bomb blast. We know that without specialist, high quality emotional and therapeutic support, the secondary victims are likely to significantly suffer and their mental health is at higher risk of degrading.
This is where ACTS FAST comes in. We stand with the parent/carer and family to initially help stabilise them in the early stages of a disclosure, and then we'll provide the right sort of emotional support to help them have hope and thrive again. It can take time, but by investing in a family early on, it is possible to reduce any long term negative impacts and limit the journey a person might need to be on to thrive again.
Step by step we will stand with a family to:
Bring relief from the shock and trauma of discovering child abuse has taken place or when a loved one has been accessing indecent images.
Reduce negative feelings and emotional pressures by delivering psyco-education and trauma informed therapeutic training skills.
To thrive again and be hopeful for their future, growing beyond the trauma for post traumatic growth.
Provide the skills and emotional support for parents/carers to support the primary victim in the day-to-day necessities of time.
Why we do this
There is little specialist support here in the UK, and indeed around much of the world, where families impacted by the trauma of child sexual abuse get the right support. Most of the time these family members are not even considered "victims" because it didn't happen directly to them. The doors are often closed to them because they don't fit into the box on the form. The implication to the parent is that their problem doesn't exist and therefore they don't need support...they don't matter.
How wrong that is. How short-sighted that is.
We know that by supporting families in meaningful ways early on in their journey, it is possible to reduce the impact of the abuse, alleviating isolation and developing resilience after the trauma.
Mental and physical health are now widely acknowledged to be interlinked aspects of the human condition, and so it makes sense to strategically support both primary and secondary victims to reduce the total overall negative impact to families and society.
We know from our clinical and lived experiences that by investing and supporting someone at the earliest possible stage following the trauma, successful post traumatic growth is much more likely.
When early, specialist and trauma-informed support happens:
Trauma is reduced and therefore the emotional strain on the parent is reduced and they are less likely to have serious long-term mental health challenges.
Young people are surrounded by parents and carers who are equipped with tools and resources to support challenging behaviour. Equipping a parent provides them with dual support to best support their needs.
Society becomes a healthy and more productive place with economically active parents/carers and the stability that positive mental health brings.
If you or someone you know would like support, please encourage them to get in touch or complete a referral form. We exist to reduce the damage of child sexual abuse and help families thrive again.
Bringing Hope to Families Following CSA.
Unit 5 Manor Farm
Gussage St Michael
Tel: 01202 797217