Katrina Our Children’s Advocate
My name is Katrina the newest Children‘s ISVA at RSVP, I have been in post since mid September. Whilst here I have had the opportunity to meet a friendly, skilled and diverse team and attend some useful training as RSVP is committed to developing its team. I’ve found RSVP to be bold, passionate and determined to reach out to all those who have been affected by sexual abuse and sexual violence.
I have worked with children and young people for a number of years, including those affected by abuse, I’m passionate about making a difference and think that alongside advocacy counselling and therapy for children is an important element to the healing process.
In being an advocate for children and young people I provide flexible and consistent support which listens to, advocates for and encourages each young person to share their feelings and thoughts. I am a central point of contact for a child and ensure that other professionals, carers and organisations work in partnership and harmony for the child providing a child centred service. Children have a voice and it’s important that all parties ensure they are heard. In my experiences I have found that each young person expresses themselves in different forms which are unique to them, and we should embrace these differences and celebrate them.
The ISVA team I belong to are fantastic and have been very supportive and helpful whilst I have been settling in to my new role. RSVP is a great organisation which enables people who have experienced sexual trauma to have their needs understood and met, have hope and confidence after sexual abuse, and look at the options available to them. We support people through criminal justice and court processes, civil action and in seeking counselling and other support. RSVP provides a confidential, warm and safe place, where people are empowered with the right information and resources available to them. This is a journey that supports sexually traumatised people to gain control again and we take bold action to support this process.
My role consists of:
1. Supporting children and young people to be fully informed about police and court processes,
2. Gaining information about what’s going on with the police investigation,
3. Going with the child on visits to the court prior to a trial,
4. Supporting children and young people to access health and other support, by arranging appointments and often going with them too. I assist them to gain health, STI testing, counselling and other support,
5. Liaising with schools and colleges to ensure that the needs of the child and young person are fully understood, identified and addressed so they can continue to access and achieve through education.
Ultimately my role supports any child or young person under 18 years of age who has an advocacy need which directly relates to the sexual abuse and trauma they have experienced.
I’m determined to provide support to children which enables them to:
1. Safely share how much they want to about what‘s happened
2. Live a hopeful, confident future where they are not defined by their past experiences.