Tony Goodman looks at a study of the Coram Community campus at King’s Cross, and Katy Burch examines a survey on counselling of sexually abused young people.

interview based study of a “campus” of voluntary agencies.

reports a study of the Coram Community Campus in the King’s Cross area (one of
the most deprived parts) of London. A number of services operate from the site
and it is an attempt to look holistically at the endeavour, rather than at the
separate parts. As the publication says, the Campus functioned in a world that
is not joined up, where resources are scarce and social exclusion is a fact of
life for many service users.

are seven projects on the three and a half acre site: a 108 place nursery; a
Parents’ Centre; a 20 place parent managed community nursery; a special needs
charity working with children with disability; a homeless families centre,
including work with asylum seekers and refugees; a homelessness project, and a
small school for children with autism or related communication disorders. The
Coram Family co-ordinates but does not run the projects.

the notion of a one-stop shop the managers interviewed shared the global vision,
however smaller projects could find this a constraint. It appeared that the
cohesiveness of the Campus was successful in releasing funds form Camden
Council, as the commitment to quality, innovation and replication’ accorded
with the philosophy of the local authority. Close co-operation with health,
education and social services encouraged the growth of partnership and a shared

being part of the Campus, increased sharing and co-operation proved possible:
joint training days; newsletter; bids for funding; shared use of outdoor
playspace and meeting rooms; collaboration on courses and events; posts, meals
service, research projects etc, enabled the sum of

parts to grow. Sensitivity was needed not to push the pace of change too fast
and to take staff with them. 

study demonstrates that there is a strong potential for this approach, but it
will bring tensions. Integration is not a short-term process. The interviews
with service users indicated that over a third had experience of more than one
service.  This is a useful and open
discussion on adopting a one-stop multi-agency service.

Valerie Wigfall and Peter Moss , More than the sum of its Parts?
published by the National Children’s Bureau and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Tony Goodman is senior lecturer in social science at Middlesex University.

A comparative study of counselling and support services for young people who
have experienced sexual abuse.

development of youth counselling and advice services has been a response to
findings which indicated that young people were not using professional services
for a variety of reasons, especially confidentiality. Nevertheless, many young
people still do not tell anyone about their distress.

comparative study of support services available to young people who have
experienced sexual abuse in Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK, aims to
increase awareness of the structures and services which actively encourage
young people to seek support, and to accept it when it is offered. The study
provides a fascinating analysis of available services, the context in which
they are provided, and the extent to which they are perceived to meet the needs
of young people within each of the partner countries. The analysis is informed by
the following:

  A review of the existing European and
American literature relating to: the ways in which young people disclose abuse;
the adequacy of the response from relevant child protection and criminal
justice systems, and the barriers preventing young people from seeking help.

Interviews with key professionals.

  Interviews with a sample of 95 young people
from the 3 communities who have experienced sexual abuse.

study concludes with a number of common themes and recommendations, many of which
will be depressingly familiar to readers, such as the continued lack of an
appropriate range of resources to meet varied need, of multi-professional or
co-ordinated interventions, and of an ‘open door policy’ enabling young people
to return to services at a later date should they feel the need. It should be
essential reading for all those involved in the planning or provision of social
and mental health

for children.

Mary Baginsky (ed.), Summary of Counselling and Support Services for Young
People aged 12-16 years Who Have Experienced Sexual Abuse, NSPCC, 2001

Burch is senior research consultant, School for Social Sciences and Law, Oxford
Brookes University.


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