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The Connect Service Suffolk

 What help do you offer?

At Connect, we provide specialist psychotherapy services for young people up to 18 in Suffolk, who are adopted, looked after or in Special Guardianship, Child Arrangement or Kinship Care arrangements. We also support carers and families.

We have the following professionals in the team to support patients: Consultant Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist, Child Psychotherapist, Art Psychotherapists, Primary Mental Health Worker and Mental Health Nurse.

The Connect service is a specialist service for children and we provide individually tailored therapeutic interventions to the child(ren) via a range of therapies and contacts, to promote emotional wellbeing. We also work to support the maintenance of placements: this means providing additional support to families, households and the professionals involved with a child.

We work closely with other teams looking after children and young people in NSFT such the Child and Family, Youth, Neurodevelopment and Wellbeing Pathways to ensure we provide a cohesive service.

We also work closely with other teams from Adoption and Fostering services within Suffolk County Council, especially the Suffolk Therapeutic Fostering Team.

Download our Connect service information leaflet

 How do I get help from your service?

Referrals to Connect are made through the Emotional Wellbeing Hub which is the single point of access in Suffolk for mental health service users under 25 years old.

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Once your referral to Connect is accepted you can expect us to quickly discuss the case details in our multidisciplinary team meetings and work out a course of action.

The referrer and GP receive a letter confirming that we have accepted the referral, and this letter explains the next step, for example, that we will contact you about an assessment

We continually review our referrals and allocate consultations, assessments and interventions when a suitable practitioner is available. If you are concerned that you haven't heard from us please do make contact and ask our administrator about progress

When we offer you a meeting or series of meetings we may ask you to come in different combinations with the young person and sometimes not. We will ask for your consent around where we can share information, and we will discuss consent to treatment and confidentiality.

From there we will talk with you and work out the best way forward to support your child

For professionals

If you have concerns that a Looked After or Adopted Child may need our support please make use of our Consultation sessions which take place weekly in South Bury and Ipswich as detailed below. These are available by appointment. Please contact team administrator on the details below

These sessions are usually attended by professionals, by foster carers or adoptive parents together with a social worker and give the opportunity to discuss and think through the young person's needs in detail. Please note that these consultations (along with other aspects of our service) can be provided using virtual platforms.

Consultation sessions for West Suffolk
West Suffolk House
Bury

9.00am—12.00 noon
Thursdays 
Floor 3, Room 3

Consultation sessions for East Suffolk
Landmark House
Ipswich

9.00am—12 noon
Thursdays
Room SO6


Once your referral to Connect is accepted you can expect us to quickly discuss the case details in our full team meetings and work out a course of action.

The referrer and GP receive a letter confirming that we have accepted the referral, and this letter explains the next step, for example, that we will contact you about an assessment

We continually review our referrals and allocate consultations, assessments and interventions when a suitable practitioner is available. If you are concerned that you haven't heard from us please do make contact and ask our administrator about progress

When we offer you a meeting or series of meetings we may ask you to come in different combinations with the young person and sometimes not. We will ask for your consent around where we can share information, and we will discuss consent to treatment and confidentiality.

From there we will talk with you and work out the best way forward to support your child

Referrals to us here at Connect are made in the same way as any other mental health referrals, which is through the Emotional Wellbeing hub (telephone on 0345 600 2090).

 What can I expect from you?

At Connect, we offer psychiatric and psychological assessments and consultations, evidence-based interventions for childhood trauma such as creative, play and art therapy interventions, relational and attachment based psychotherapies.

We may work with the individual child, or we may suggest work with the carer present, or relationship and family therapy support.

We have a Family Therapy Clinic for adoptive families referred to us via the Suffolk County Council Permanence Team. We also offer Changing Circles psycho-education workshops for adoptive and foster carers, and Enhanced Parenting Groups to support carers with complex parenting issues.

We work mainly from Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich for all of Suffolk, except children in Lowestoft and Waveney. The Connect Service is not available to children based in Thetford, however these young people may still be able access other mental health services.

We provide training and education to foster carers, adoptive parents, residential workers, and other professionals. 

We also offer regular consultations to Local Authority Children's Homes.

Young people placed in Suffolk from out of area are also able to use the Connect Service but this is is then chargeable to the placing authority.

 What is the main address of your service?

Children’s Treatment Centre
Bungalow 6
Walker Close
Ipswich
Suffolk
IP3 8LY​

Onsite facilities

The Connect Service work in a variety of our Trust's buildings, many of which have limited but dedicated parking including disabled and the buildings have disabled access. For specific queries please contact the team administrator who can advise you further

 How can I contact you?

For general enquiries contact us through our administrator on 01473 237034 /237070 or for referral please contact the Emotional Wellbeing Hub on 0345 600 2090.

What hours is your service available? 

Monday to Friday between 9am to 5pm excluding bank holidays.

 What conditions do you treat?

Connect specialises in therapeutic interventions, consultations and assessments where there are concerns  around attachment difficulties, developmental trauma and other complex developmental, social and emotional difficulties and acute mental health difficulties. ​We commonly work with young people around complex emotional issues which can arise as a result of loss of birth family or as a direct consequence of being in care. ​

 What support do you offer carers including friends and family?

Connect clinicians work closely with carers and family and are led by the young person as well as the relevant professionals as to who we involve in their care.

We offer a Family Therapy Clinic as part of our intervention offer and would be happy to provide more information about this upon request.

 Service manager name?

Clinical Team Lead - Justin Hunter -  Registered Mental Health Nurse

 I need help urgently! Who do I call?

The Connect Service offers a duty system during operational hours. Please contact the team administrator on 01473 237034 and a member of the team will endeavor to return your call. Outside of operational hours please contact the Crisis response team (24 hours) on 0300 123 1334. If you have a medical or life-threatening emergency please call 999.