Children under 13 cannot be referred directly to the Havens. Depending on the circumstances, they must be referred to us by the police or children’s social care.

Referrals to the Havens within 7 days of a sexual assault

If the child has been sexually assaulted within the last 7 days, please contact the police as soon as possible. The police will make an urgent referral to the Havens’ Children and Young Persons’ (CYP) team if a forensic medical examination is required as part of a criminal investigation. This will involve the collection of time-sensitive forensic evidence (including DNA and documentation of injuries). The police will also inform children’s social care.

Referrals to the Havens more than 7 days after a sexual assault

Cases outside the window for forensic evidence collection (usually over 7 days after assault) must be referred to the Havens’ Children and Young Persons’ (CYP) team by children’s social care or the police.
We will contact the local children’s social care team if they are not already involved. The children’s social care team may be asked to complete the Havens referral form via e-mail after the call. The referrer may be signposted to a local Child Sexual Abuse service if available in the child’s borough.

What we offer

When we have received the referral, the local children’s social care team can put in a request for us to join case meetings.

For time-critical cases involving police, a forensic medical examination will be carried out by a paediatrician. This includes a holistic assessment of the child’s health and wellbeing that considers the full medical and developmental history of the child. Valid consent from the parent or agency with parental responsibility is required.

For cases outside the window for collection of forensic evidence a similar examination will be carried out, but no forensic samples will be taken.

Additional signposting may be made for sexual health, emotional wellbeing, psychology, advocacy, ISVA, and clinical assessment. You can find out more about the services we offer in our follow-up care area.