Frequently Asked Questions
What does Skylight do?
Skylight works with children and young people, who have been sexually abused or assaulted.
We know that young people of any age who have experienced sexual abuse often want and need support to deal with the after effects.
All young people who come to Skylight do so because they feel it is right for them
How does Skylight work with young people?
Skylight is a confidential counselling and therapy service for children and young people.
We offer young people the opportunity to meet regularly with either a female or a male worker. The choice is yours.
Does this mean I have to sit and talk?
Some young people like to talk about what is worrying them, others prefer to draw, use paints, clay, plasticine or use games and toys.
Skylight workers try to help young people find the best way to express how they feel or what might be troubling them.
Do I have to talk about what happened when I was abused?
Skylight workers know that sometimes young people do not want to go into detail about exactly what happened to them.
However, young people often find it helpful to meet with someone to talk about how the abuse and other experiences have left them feeling.
How would I arrange to come to Skylight?
Speak to your social worker or another adult who supports you.
Ask them to ring us and make a referral. Our phone number is 0131 662 4997.
What would happen next?
At the start young people meet a Skylight worker for a few sessions. The worker also meets with the important adults in the young person’s life. Then we think together about how best Skylight might help.
Where would I meet someone from Skylight?
We have places to meet with young people in Edinburgh, Livingston, Bathgate and Tranent.
What is Lighthouse?
Lighthouse was started to help young people when there are concerns that their sexual behaviour may be harmful to others. We try to understand why this behaviour may have happened, so that we can help the young person to stop. We know that this can be a difficult thing to talk about, so do our best to create a place that is safe and comfortable for young people.
How do people get connected to Lighthouse?
When a young person’s sexual behaviour becomes a problem or concerning to others, a social worker or parent will contact us and ask us to get involved. First we’ll talk to that person to get more information about the concerns and then we usually have a short meeting with the young person, their parents or carers, and their social worker to explain more about who we are and how we can help. We always ask that people discuss their plans to phone us for help with the young person first.
What if someone doesn’t want to come to Lighthouse?
Many of the young people who come to Lighthouse do so because they recognize the need and they want help to sort out their behaviour. Some young people come because they are required to by the court or by a Children’s Hearing. We do our best to make Lighthouse a place that is welcoming, safe, and helpful. We also think it is really important that all young people feel that they have a say in how the work is planned and carried out, so that it is helpful and interesting to them.
What happens when my child is in the therapy room?
The counsellor, social worker, or therapist is trained to work at the child or young person’s pace. This means they will try to find ways of helping your son or daughter express their feelings about the issues. They may do this through talking or by using art materials, puppets or sand play.
What will I be told about how the therapy is progressing?
You will be involved in regular reviews and will get copies of reports written for these reviews. You won’t get to hear all the details of the therapy sessions.
How do I know my son or daughter is safe?
All staff are subjected to an Enhanced Disclosure (police check). They are also trained in child protection and will provide a safe space for your son or daughter to recover from the abuse.
What if I feel I need support myself?
Let somebody in the project know by phoning or talking to your child’s worker or the Service Manager. We will than arrange for a different worker to see you to assess your support needs.
Can you support my son or daughter at court?
No. We will continue to offer counselling to your son or daughter. We can’t support them at court as it is possible that your child’s worker may be called as a witness.
Who can refer?
Any professional can refer. We get referrals from lots of different sources, including health visitors, guidance staff, youth justice and voluntary sector projects.
What is your referral process?
Social workers and other professionals may refer to us simply by phoning our main office number (0131 662 4997). Referrals will be directed to the duty worker, if available, or provided with a telephone appointment at a later date/time. At this time, some basic information regarding the young person and the concerns will be collected. If the referral meets our basic service criteria, the referrer will be offered an initial meeting with the worker to discuss their concerns and the referral in more detail. The purpose of this meeting is to determine what, if any, services may be the most appropriate.
If Lighthouse/Skylight is able to offer any services, a worker will be allocated to the case and the allocated worker will set up an initial meeting with the young person and his/her parents or carers to discuss the referral and service in more detail. Relevant paperwork will be completed at this time and arrangements will be made for the start of the assessment sessions.
Do I need to tell the young person about the referral?
If you are calling to enquire about direct services for either a parent and/or a young person, we do request that you discuss your intention to make a referral with those individuals and obtain their consent.
Can I refer pre-trial?
Yes, the Scottish Executive has published new guidance on Therapeutic Support to Child Witnesses in Court Proceedings. This states quite clearly that the paramount consideration in deciding whether to offer pre-trial therapy is the welfare of the child.
What is the cost of Lighthouse/Skylight service?
Services provided to children, young people, parents/carers, and other professionals within Edinburgh City and West Lothian are provided as a part of a service level agreement with the relevant local authority. Workers outside these areas may enquire about services and may be able to contract for services on a spot purchase basis, dependant on staff capacity.
Do you have a waiting list?
Sometimes we do operate a small waiting list, during times of unusually large numbers of referrals. If this is the case, we will advise workers of this during the referral process. We do our best to respond in a timely manner to all service requests.
The young person I am working with is reluctant to meet a new worker. Can you support me to do some direct work?
We would offer this through our consultancy service. Contact us and we can discuss your particular needs and whether our consultancy service would be appropriate.
How do I access training?
Contact the service in the first instance. We will let you know which courses are planned. The nominations are co-ordinated through the local authorities.
Can we pay for a training course?
Yes. Contact us to discuss your training needs. We will cost out a training package for you.
Can I spot purchase work with a young person?
Workers outside our contracted service areas may enquire about services and may be able to contract for services on a spot purchase basis, dependant on staff capacity.
Do you offer counselling to adult survivors of child sexual abuse?
No. Our parent work service is designed to give space for parents to think about the impact on them of the sexual abuse of their child. However, we recognise that many parents may have their own history of sexual abuse. We will offer an opportunity to help them think about this and how it affects their current situation. We will help them access counselling if they feel they need this.