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Somerset Phoenix Project

Working alongside professionals and supporting children, young people and families affected by sexual abuse.

A specialist service supporting the development of professionals in Somerset. We are here to reduce the negative impact of child sexual abuse (CSA) on the lives of children and families living in Somerset

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FAQ's about Assessment of Need

Frequently asked questions about Assessment of Need

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They are two different forms of assessment depending on what option you have been accepted for in the service.


Counselling: If you have been accepted for counselling via SARSAS they will make contact with you and offer you an appointment at one of their sites. After the assessment if you are suitable and you accept you will join the counselling waiting list.

Specialist 1:1 support: Once your case has been accepted your name will be added to the waiting list and when you get to the top of the list we will make contact and offer you an assessment. At that assessment we will check that you are still suitable for support as you and your family situation needs to be as safe and stable as possible to get the most out of our support.

The Assessment of Need is a process that helps the Phoenix Team to find out more about you. We will focus on how you are feeling, how you are coping and what help you would like. We will ask you to tell us as much as you want to about the abuse you have experienced.

We will also share our confidentiality policy, complaints procedure and privacy notice (what we do with the information you give us) with you. We will ask you to sign a consent form – without this we cannot support you.

Assessments can take place in different places. If it is one of the Phoenix team assessing you we can met you at a venue of your choice. If our SARSAS partners are carrying out the assessment these tend to be carried out from one of their hubs. These are comfortable places where we can put you at ease.


The assessment could be completed in one meeting or more if needed - we will go at your speed. The meeting will usually last between 1 – 2 hours depending upon how much you want to tell us.

No, it is up to you how much you tell us.

If you give us consent to do so, it is sometimes very helpful to speak to other professionals or agencies supporting your child(ren), e.g. school, social worker, police, getset.

Once we have gathered all the information from you, it is shared with the rest of our small team so we can think how we might be able to best help you. We will listen to what you want and try our best to offer this. We may not be able to offer what you want but will try our best to offer something that hopefully will be helpful.

If you decide that you do want our support then depending upon the type of support offered, you may either have to go on a waiting list or you might be able to access support immediately. Support may be provided by the same person who undertook the Assessment of Need with you, but this is not guaranteed.

If you go on a waiting list we will contact you to offer you an appointment as soon as one becomes available. If you want to know the estimated waiting time please call us on: 07590627693

This will depend upon the type of support you receive. We maybe able to meet you at a place of your choosing, e.g. school / home / local café or if it is counselling you will come to meet us at one of our hubs.

You can change your mind at any point; we just ask that you give us a call to let us know. You can call us again at any point should you decide that you do want support.

If you have any questions or can’t make your assessment of need meeting(s) then please call the person who booked the meeting with you.

Barnardo's is a charity (216250 / SC037605) and a company limited by guarantee.
(61625 England - see the governing document). Registered office: Tanners Lane, Barkingside, Ilford, Essex IG6 1QG | VAT number 507477337