Time to Listen logo


We specialise in working with children, young people and families, but also provide counselling for adults

The information provided meets the requirement of the National Minimum Standards for Adoption, and the related regulations (Voluntary Adoption Agencies and Adoption Agencies (Misc. Amendments) Regulations 2003).

Time to Listen is a ‘not for profit’ limited company, established in July 2013, specialising in working with Children, Young People and Families with wide ranging issues, such as emotional/sexual/physical abuse, attachment disorders, separation, loss, sexual exploitation, suicidal intention, self-harm, bereavement, anxiety, depression to name but a few. Our income comes from providing services for looked after children, vulnerable children, young people and families, schools and private referrals. In addition, we also provide free access to our wide range of therapeutic interventions, by way of grant funding when available, to those unable to access counselling and therapeutic services in any other way.

Childrens’ Service user’s guide for Adoption Counselling

Time to Listen is here to help you talk about your feelings, thoughts and troubles and help you make good choices for yourself. Your counsellor will listen to you in a way that does not judge you. They will not take sides or tell you what to do. If you come to see them on your own they will not go straight to your parents or guardian and tell them what you have said. Sometimes it is hard to talk about your worries so they can find different ways to help you explore what life is like for you at the moment. They can help you to make your own choices and decisions. Counselling is about understanding, acceptance, support, choice and change.

Once we know that you need help, either because your parents have contacted us, or someone else, such as your school, we will make an appointment for you to see one of our special counsellors quickly, usually within 10 working days. If you are going to come with your parents, we may see them first to help them understand what they will need to do in the session in order to help you better.

Meeting your Counsellor - When you first meet your counsellor they will explain what counselling is all about, what they will and won’t tell others, ask you what you would like to get from coming to see them, what goals you would like to have reached when you finish therapy. All this the counsellor will do in a kind, understanding, non-judgemental and accepting way. Usually you will see your counsellor every week for about 50 minutes, at the same time on the same day for an agreed number of times.

Choice of Counsellor - Occasionally the first counsellor that you meet may not feel right for you and it is important that you tell us as quickly as possible so that we can find another counsellor who will suit you better. If you can’t tell us then please tell your parent or guardian so they can let us know. Please don’t think you will be in trouble as it is really important that you like the counsellor and feel that you can learn to trust them if they are going to help you talk about your feelings and maybe reach your goals.

End of Therapy - At the end of your time with your counsellor they will ask you to fill out a form about how much you think the therapy has helped you. You will also be asked to tell us what you have and haven’t liked about coming to see your counsellor and if you have any ideas that would make it better. Your answers will help us to know if we are doing a good job and hopefully give us some good ideas on how to make things even better. This information will be shared with people who check up on us to make sure we are doing the best we can for you.

Absences & Cancellations – It is really important that you meet your counsellor when you have an appointment but sometimes it is not always possible because you might be poorly. If you know you won’t be able to come please can you check that someone has let us know, the early the better. However, if your parent or guardian or someone else did not let us know please don’t worry as it is not your fault and you will not get in to trouble. If you have been sent to see us by an organisation, such as a school or a social worker, we may have to tell them if you have or haven’t come to your appointments as they may be paying for you to see your counsellor.

Recording of Sessions – There may be times when a session is recorded. This is to help the counsellor check she/he is doing a good job. The counsellor will always let you know and ask permission from you and your parent/guardian before recording to make sure this is ok. The recording is only for the counsellor to watch and they may want to show their supervisor though they will ask for your agreement first. However, if you are not happy for us to do this then please let your counsellor know and they will not record the session.

If you need more information about what we do there is a bigger booklet called the ‘Statement of Purpose’, which you are more than welcome to have a copy of, just let us know.

Time to Listen will make all possible efforts into arranging for this Children’s Guide, and any other of their literature, to be read, translated or explained to whoever needs this service. For all enquiries about this service: Write to us: Time to Listen, Marvell House Children’s Centre, Cranbourne Street, Hull, HU3 1PP. Phone us: 07810503830 Email us: info@timetolisten.co.uk or visit the website: www.timetolisten.co.uk.

Code of Practice & Complaints Procedures – Time to Listen has to follow a set of rules and regulations, which you can read if you want to either by going on our website www.timetolisten.co.uk or asking your counsellor to get you a copy. If you are not happy about the help you have been getting you can ask your parents or guardian to get a copy of our complaints form which will tell you how to let us or the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) know about the problem.

Or you or your parents or guardian can contact:
26-32 Store St
M1 2WD
0300 123 1231
OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) inspect all adoption support agencies at least every three years. OFSTED ensure all adoption support agencies meet the National Minimum Standards of care.

What Drives Us

Behavioural and emotional difficulties have a profound effect on the educational attainment of children and young people, their ability to form secure attachments and not to mention their self-esteem, self-confidence and self-belief. Experiencing difficulties affects concentration, attention, ability to follow instruction, memory loss, lack of empathy and the inability to form relationships to name but a few. This leads to detentions, exclusions and young people being more likely to leave school with poor, if any, academic achievements. In addition, when our mental and emotional wellbeing is compromised it affects our immune system and increases the chances of suffering from anxiety and depression. In turn this may lead to ill health, inactivity and often a withdrawal from society.

The children of today are the adults of tomorrow and require our full support, understanding and investment if they are going to be in any position to take on the responsibility for the next generation. Unfortunately, over the last few years, due to the Government funding cuts, financial investment has not only been reduced in Hull it has been cut from many vital children and young peoples’ services leaving a huge void, which is proving difficult to fill. In addition, there is a tendency to pathologise the child or young person who is demonstrating emotional or behavioural difficulties. The focus being on “What is wrong with them” rather than asking, “What has happened to them”. When this happens they are assigned a label, which in some cases is not only misleading but can also follow them for the rest of their lives. By investing in early intervention there can be huge financial savings in terms of personal, public spending and the cost to the taxpayer, but more significantly a huge investment in the 'Adults of Tomorrow'.

Mission Statement

Improve the mental health and wellbeing of Children, Young People and Families by providing a range of Person-Centred therapeutic interventions that are respectful of and responsive to their preferences, needs and values in order to help achieve positive change.

In relation to children who are not able to live with their birth families we want them to develop in a safe, nurturing and supportive family where their self-esteem and self-confidence can grow strong in order for them to reach their true potential. We will work to help them have a clear understanding of their history and form a positive view of themselves.

Our Core Values are…

Confidential – discrete and committed to maintaining client confidentiality
Accepting – non-judgemental and congruent
Respectful – of our client’s autonomy, their human rights and dignity
Empathic – to identify with our clients and enhance the therapeutic relationship


  • Provide qualified and experienced psychotherapists/counsellors to work in a person-centred way 
  • Provide a high quality service that meets the needs of the service users
  • Provide a wide range of therapeutic interventions to meet the needs of children and young people
  • Promote and improve emotional and mental health for children, young people and families
  • Maintain and develop a professional workforce in an inspirational and understanding working environment
  • Maintain services that meet the needs of our clients 
  • To ensure we maintain confidentiality and security of all adoption records and information.
  • Invest in workforce training to ensure skills reflect the needs of our client base
  • Provide External Training to relevant agencies on a range of topics to enhance children and young people’s well-being
  • Work in partnership with other services in the statutory and voluntary sectors
  • Work to provide any other relevant and related service for which there is a genuine demand and inadequate provision
  • Keep ourselves informed of all research and good practice in the field of counselling and psychotherapy

With Regards to Adoption Issues

As a service we adhere to the National Minimum Standards (NMS) that are applicable to the provision of adoption services.  The principles that underpin these standards are also the same values that all the counsellors and psychotherapists support and abide by as below;-

  • The child’s welfare, safety and needs are at the centre of the adoption process.
  • Adopted children should have an enjoyable childhood, and benefit from excellent parenting and education, enjoying a wide range of opportunities to develop their talents and skills leading to a successful adult life.
  • Children are entitled to grow up as part of a loving family that can meet their developmental needs during childhood and beyond.
  • Children’s wishes and feelings are important and will be actively sought and fully taken into account at all stages of the adoption process.
  • A sense of identity is important to a child’s well-being. To help children develop this, their ethnic origin, cultural background, religion, language and sexuality need to be properly recognised and positively valued and promoted.
  • To work with the whole family network, as we recognise the importance of the support that family and friends provide to the adoptive family.
  • To work with schools, as we believe sharing knowledge and adopting a joined up approach can help children with trauma and attachment difficulties.  By increasing understanding of attachment and learning, we believe schools are better able to provide education in a way that children can access.
  • To ensure we involve and consult service users in the delivery and development of services.
  • The particular needs of disabled children and children with complex needs will be fully recognised and taken into account.
  • Children, birth parents/guardians and families and adoptive parents and families will be valued and respected.
  • We aim to work closely with local authority adoption and permanency teams to ensure our services remain consistent with their requirements.
  • A genuine partnership between all those involved in adoption is essential for the NMS to deliver the best outcomes for children; this includes the Government, local government, other statutory agencies, Voluntary Adoption Agencies and Adoption Support Agencies.

Service Provision

Time to Listen specialises in working with children, young people and families, focusing on the development of a therapeutic relationship in order to provide a “secure base” to promote safe self-exploration. As we know one way of working does not fit all therefore from this “secure base” the psychotherapists/counsellors work in an integrative way to establish, with the client, what the best approach is in order to meet their needs.

The therapeutic service looks to provide a holistic approach to meet the needs of children, young people and families.

Therefore to achieve this we offer;

Humanistic Person-Centred approach providing therapy that is respectful of and responsive to the clients preferences, needs and values, and ensuring that these principles guide all decisions

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (Parent/Guardian and Child)

EMDR Trauma Therapy

Therapeutic Play


Parent-Child Relationship Therapy

Attachment Focused Therapy

Therapeutic Parenting Courses

Adoption Counselling for children, adults and birth relatives

Therapeutic Life Story Work

Inner Child Therapy

Transactional Analysis Therapy

CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Sand Tray Therapy

Art Therapy

Neuro Linguistic Programming

Emotional Freedom Technique

Hypnotherapy – Groups/Individual

Mindfulness and Relaxation – Groups/Individual

Anger workshops – Groups/Individual

Clinical Supervision

Training and advice for schools regarding attachment, trauma and learning

Specialist training for professionals, adopters and carers

All our psychotherapists/counsellors are qualified experienced professionals who specialise in working with children and young people. They will either be BACP Accredited or equivalent or working towards Accreditation and have enhanced disclosures from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

We Work With the Following Issues;

  • Abusive/Neglectful experiences resulting in Debilitating Behaviour
  • Attachment Issues including Abandonment, Loss, Rejection and Bereavement
  • Domestic Violence
  • Sexual, Emotional and Physical abuse
  • Rape
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Anger
  • Sexually Harmful Behaviour
  • Self-harm including Suicidal Intentions
  • Eating Disorders
  • Extreme Dysfunctional Behaviour
  • Placement Breakdown
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Low Self-confidence/Self-esteem
  • Identity/Body Image

We also offer Specialist Training/Workshops on the following issues;

  • Neuroscience, Brain Development and Attachment
  • Understanding and Working With Self-harm
  • Understanding and Working with Anger
  • Self-Compassion rather than Self-Esteem
  • Developing a Therapeutic Relationship
  • Positive Parenting Skills
  • Basic Counselling Skills
  • Adoption and Attachment-Healing the Primal Wound
  • CPD Self Development using Creativity
  • Bespoke packages around Attachment & Emotional Health and Wellbeing

Services to be Provided

Our main priority is to be able to provide counselling and therapeutic services to children, young people and families where the issue relates to adoption.  We also provide support to families, where a child has been or is due to be adopted, around attachment focused parenting to assist in the development of a secure attachment for all parties. Support will also be provided in situations involving disruption or potential placement breakdown. This may also involve training for the parents and extended family in order to meet the needs of the child.  

We also provide support and training to adoption agencies and local authorities due to our expertise in both attachment issues and training.

Admission and Assessment Criteria

Requests for services will be reviewed by the registered manager for assessment.  The assessment will include the following:

  • Appropriateness for our service
  • Have we the resources to meet the needs of the client(s)
  • Can we meet the deadlines required?
  • Is Funding in place?

Once the referral has been accepted we aim to offer an appointment within 10 working days, unless the client or referrer require a later start.  In cases where a faster response is required we can ensure that a psychotherapist/counsellor provides an initial consultation.  The therapist appointed will then make direct contact with the client to ensure the appointment is made within the designated time-scale and avoid unnecessary delays and confusion.  It also provides the first point of contact for the client with their therapist to assist in them feeling supported and valued rather than having to deal with a third party.  The therapist will also provide them with their direct number to ensure easy, clear lines of communication.  They will also be given the details of our service in case there are any concerns or complaints.

The first appointment will include an explanation of role, expectations, explanation of confidentiality, contracting, identification of client’s needs and possible goals, as well as the beginning of a therapeutic relationship.  All this is achieved in an empathic, non-judgemental and accepting manner.

Reviewing the Services we Provide

We have a bespoke data analysis programme to monitor and measure our performance and outcomes to ensure our commissioners are receiving value for money and a quality service.  It also ensures that we comply with the Data Protection Act providing reassurance to our commissioning bodies

Due to our computer database we are able to provide statistical information to evidence our performance and ensure the efficient and effective use of resources.  

We provide feedback on the following:

Number of Sessions Offered, Delivered, Cancelled, Missed

Outcomes such as clients registering an improvement in emotional/mental health, improvement in relationships, increased self-confidence, self-esteem Issues Referred and Discussed

Organisations and Agencies making referrals

We also have a variety of systems in place to monitor and review the services we provide.  These include:

Client Feedback collected on a regular basis to record customer satisfaction. 

Feedback forms from families

Feedback questionnaire responses from local authorities and other service users

Internal evaluations.

A snapshot of provision will be collected and collated, from the service users, twice yearly in order to identify strengths and areas requiring further development.


Our premises are 10 minutes’ walk away from Hull City Centre rail and bus interchange and 1 mile away by car.  Our premises have a free car park with easy access for the disabled. The location is discrete, anonymous and provides us with opportunities for expansion in terms of additional therapy rooms.  We have 3 fully furnished counselling rooms offering one-to-one therapy; each room is equipped with a wide range of creative materials to facilitate different ways of working. We also have a fully furnished play therapy room and access to training facilities as and when needed.

Staff Supervision, Training and Development

It is essential that psychotherapists/ counsellors are able to meet the needs of their clients in terms of the issues brought and interventions that can be helpful. For this reason, we continually monitor the service requirements. Where gaps have been identified investment will be made in continuing professional development to ensure that up to date knowledge and skills is readily available. This is either achieved by our in-house training or external training, funded by Time to Listen.

All the counsellors/psychotherapists work within the BACP ethical framework and undertake clinical supervision for a minimum of 1.5 hours per month. In addition, all members of the team are regularly offered line-management support to further discuss any issues that may be affecting their work. Feedback is also requested in relation to management style and service provision to ensure Time to Listen continues to be an outstanding provision. An annual appraisal is also undertaken to ensure that both Time to Listen and the Counsellor/Psychotherapist are in agreement and willing to continue the contract, that all needs are met. Policies and procedures are reviewed at least annually, though updates in legislation or issues raised may require amendments.

Time to Listen adheres to a wide range of policies, key processes and procedures, in addition to the legislation that underpins all work with children, adoption and health and safety.

Complaints and Compliments Procedure

Time to Listen strives to carry out its activities in a way that is fair, efficient, effective and professional. However, if as a client, member organisation, volunteer or member of the public you have a concern or complaint about something Time to Listen has done, or about the actions, behaviour or attitude of a staff member, associate counsellor, or volunteer then please follow the procedure below:

Stage 1

If you hope to resolve the matter informally, please contact the Managing Director (MD) on telephone number 07810503830 to discuss your concerns.  The Managing Director will investigate the matter and respond to you, either verbally or in writing, whichever you prefer, within an agreed timescale.

Stage 2

If you do not wish to discuss your concerns verbally you should write to the MD giving details of the nature of your complaint. You should mark the envelope “CONFIDENTIAL - COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE”.

Time to Listen will write to you to acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days of receiving it, giving a timescale for investigating your complaint and responding fully to you. You will be informed in writing of the outcome of the investigation.

Stage 3

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint at Stages 1 or 2, or if your complaint concerns the MD, you should contact the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) informing them of your concerns regarding Time to Listen.  Your complaint will then be taken up by the BACP and their procedures will then be followed.

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
BACP House
15 St John's Business Park
LE17 4HB

Email: bacp@bacp.co.uk
Call: 01455 883300
Tweet: @BACP
Text: 01455 560606 

If you have been referred by Hull City Council and are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, please contact them at the address below and inform them of your concerns regarding Time to Listen.  

Complaints manager
Brunswick House
Strand Close
Beverley Road

Tel: (01482) 616143 
Email: SocialServices.Complaints@hullcc.gov.uk

Should this be a matter involving an adoption issue and you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint please contact Ofsted at the address below and inform them or your concerns regarding Time to Listen.

Her Majesties Chief Inspector
Piccardilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD

Tel: 0300 123 1231

Email: enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk

Any complaints made about Time to Listen’s activities are monitored and will be reported to all relevant persons. If the outcome of the investigation of the complaint is unfounded and further vexatious action is taken, then Time to Listen will seek legal advice to bring the matter to a close.

With regards to compliments 

We are committed to providing all an outstanding service. When you feel that you have received a first class experience we would welcome you providing us with feedback on what we did well to meet your needs. Your feedback on what we do well means a lot to us and will be cascaded to all team members and with your agreement placed on our website (confidentiality will be observed). It may also be used for analysis purposes to inform future practice.

Registration Authority

The name and address of the Registration Authority is:

Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD

Email: enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk
Web: www.ofsted.gov.uk

The Statement of Purpose can be supplied in different formats appropriate to the physical, sensory and learning impairment, communication difficulties and language of all those who may need to read it.  The Statement of Purpose has been approved by the Directors of Time to Listen and is subject to review annually, or more frequently if required.

Funding grants successfully awarded from the following have enabled Time to Listen to thrive and grow as an essential therapeutic service despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding has enabled Time to Listen to continue being responsive to the needs of our local communities.

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