The Connect Service in Suffolk provides specialist psychotherapy services for young people up to the age of 18 in Suffolk. The service is for young people who are adopted, looked after or in Special Guardianship, Child Arrangement or Kinship Care arrangements. The service also supports carers and families.
- Service Manager Lead: Justin Hunter
- Service Contact: Telephone 01473 237034 or 01473 237070
Children's Treatment Centre, Bungalow 6, Walker Close, Ipswich, IP3 8LY
- Service hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 until 17:00 (excluding bank holidays).
- What this service offers
- Access this service
- Visiting and onsite facilities
- How this service support carers including friends and family
- Urgent help
What this service offers
The Connect Service provides tailored therapy to children through a range of therapies. The service also supports the maintenance of placements. This means providing extra support to families, households and the professionals involved with a child.
The team works with other teams looking after children and young people. These include the Child and Family, Youth, Neurodevelopment and Wellbeing Pathways.
The Connect Service specialises in therapeutic interventions, consultations and assessments about attachment difficulties, developmental trauma and other developmental, social and emotional difficulties and acute mental health difficulties. Our team works with young people around complex emotional issues which can arise as a result of loss of birth family or as a result of being in care.
The team also works with other teams from Adoption and Fostering services within Suffolk County Council, especially the Suffolk Therapeutic Fostering Team.
Once we accept a referral to the Connect Service Suffolk, we will discuss the case details in team meetings and work out a course of action.
The referrer and GP receive a letter confirming that the Connect Service Suffolk have accepted the referral. This letter explains the next steps, for example, that we will contact the referred person about an assessment
The Connect Service Suffolk continually reviews referrals. They then allocate consultations, assessments and interventions when a suitable practitioner is available. If anyone is concerned that they haven't heard our team, make contact and ask our administrator about progress.
When the Connect Service offers somebody a meeting the team may ask them to come in different combinations. This could be with the young person and sometimes not. The team will ask for consent to share information and consent to treatment and confidentiality.
From there our team will talk with the referred individual and work out the best way forward to support the child.
Our team may work with the individual child. They may also suggest working with the carer present, or relationship and family therapy support.
The Connect Service Suffolk has 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. We also offer Enhanced Parenting Groups to support carers with complex parenting issues.
Our team works 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. These young people may still be able access other mental health services.
We provide training to foster carers, adoptive parents, residential workers, and other professionals. They 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. This is chargeable to the placing authority.
Access this service
Referrals to Connect are made through the Emotional Wellbeing Hub. This is the single point of access in Suffolk for mental health service users under 25 years old.
Professionals can make referrals by telephone on 0345 600 2090.
If you have concerns about a Looked After or Adopted Child, please use our consultation sessions. These take place weekly in South Bury and Ipswich as detailed below. These are available by appointment, please telephone our team.
Our sessions are attended by professionals, foster carers or adoptive parents together with a social worker. They give the opportunity to discuss and think through the young person's needs in detail. Please note we can provide these consultations using virtual platforms.
Consultation sessions for West Suffolk Thursdays – 9:00 until 12:00 in Room 3, Floor 3 of West Suffolk House, Bury
Consultation sessions for East Suffolk Thursdays, 9:00 until 12:00 in Room S06, Landmark House, Ipswich.
Visiting and onsite facilities
The Connect Service works in a variety of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust buildings. Many have limited but dedicated parking, including for the disabled.
Our buildings have disabled access.
For specific queries telephone the service.
How this service support carers including friends and family
Our clinicians work closely with carers and family. They are led by the young person as well as the relevant professionals involved in their care.
Our team offers a Family Therapy Clinic. More information is available on request.
The Connect Service offers a duty system during operational hours. If you need urgent help contact the team administrator on 01473 237034.
Call 0808 196 3494 to speak to our 24 hour mental health crisis line called First Response.
If you are with someone who has attempted suicide, call 999 and stay with them until the ambulance arrives.
If anyone is at serious risk of harm, call 999 and ask for the police.
For non-life threatening medical situations, call NHS111 on 111.
For more information, see Help in a Crisis.