THE Action Youth (Trans Health Education) (YPAS)

THE* Action Youth (Trans Health Education) is a youth group that supports young people aged 12-18 years old who identify as: trans, gender questioning, or young people whose gender identity (internal sense of self) does not match with their assigned gender at birth.


What is the service?

THE* Action Youth (Trans Health Education) is a youth group that supports young people who identify as: trans, gender questioning, or young people whose gender identity (internal sense of self) does not match with their assigned gender at birth e.g non-binary. The group gives young people the chance to meet others who may be experiencing similar issues, to become more empowered and secure about their identities in a fun, safe and educational environment facilitated by experienced staff with LGBTQ+ specialisms. We aim to keep the service as confidential as possible as we know that a lot of young people are not ‘out’ about their trans identity but may have to share some information if there is a real safeguarding concern. The group is part of the wider LGBTQ+ youth provision that YPAS offers including GYRO (LGBTQ+ youth groups)


What do you do?

We provide a weekly group drop-in where young trans or  gender questioning young people have a social space where they can meet other young people. We also provide informal group work sessions to share information and experiences in a safe environment. We may have sessions on knowing your Rights, making zines, playing board games, drama etc. driven by what the young people who attend ask us to deliver.

 

In addition to group work 1-2-1 Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) can be provided for specific support regarding gender identity e.g. help with accessing referrals to appropriate trans health care providers like Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) or a Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) or help understanding terminology and advice on ‘coming out’.

We often have opportunities to attend Trans residentials and external activities such as taking part in Liverpool Pride, trips to the cinema, trans specific swimming sessions etc.

We also get a lot of enquiries from primary schools for information or support and where we have capacity we will offer support- quite often this is through attending our training sessions.


What age group does your service work with?

THE Action Youth works with young people between the ages of 12-18 years old. Runs on Wednesdays 4pm-6pm. 1-2-1 IAG is available to 10-25 year olds. Refferal required (Self or professional), appointments available on weekdays.


Do you work with other family members?

In most cases young people self-refer, and some do so without the knowledge of their family or carers as they are not out about being LGBT. We occasionally have contact with parents or carers with the young persons consent, or in an emergency we will say we are calling from YPAS so as not to put a young person at further risk by outing them.


Are you limited to working with people from a specific geographical area?

Our Trans youth group supports young people from across Merseyside as many of them do not have local neighbourhood trans youth groups to attend.

Please keep in mind that although our group is not postcode restricted some of our 1:1 IAG may be restricted to young people with a Liverpool postcode, school or GP. Due to the lack of trans youth support in localities staff at THE Action Youth will endeavor to provide as much support as possible considering capacity.


Who would someone ask for in the first instance?

An LGBT worker


What are your opening times?

THE Action Youth opens every Wednesday afternoon between 4pm-6pm. Please get in contact before attending in case they are closed for some reason e.g they are on a trip.


Can you be contacted out-of-hours?

Outside of the THE Action Youth drop-in times we can be contacted Mon – Fri via telephone call or email. Phone YPAS reception on 0151 707 1025 and ask to speak to an LGBT worker or email gyro@ypas.org.uk and someone will get back to you asap.


Do you have appointments outside working hours?

Yes, 1-1 appointments can be made with anyone who would like to know more about the service and /or would like to engage with the groups.

There is also the possibility to work 1 to 1 with a young person with an LGBTQ+ worker on practical support e.g. advice on coming out, transition, access to services or reaching a goal. This service may be more suitable for young people who find it difficult to engage in groups or who have specific needs that they need support to meet.


Do you have drop-in facilities?

Yes.


Where do you see young people?

THE Action Youth drop-in group take place at YPAS’ Liverpool city centre location.


Do you take referrals directly from children/young people, parents/carers?

Yes – YPAS takes self-referrals, which means making a referral direct to YPAS.


If not, how can people refer in to your service?

N/A


Who else can make referrals to you?

Anyone who supports a young trans person, with their consent including a parent/carer/professional or appropriate adult. Contact us to request information to pass on to a young person.


What kinds of things do you help with?

We offer information, advice and guidance (1:1 support) on a range of issues relevant to young people in general and Trans and gender questioning young people in particular, including coming out, bullying, sexual and emotional needs and mental health and well-being with a main focus of gender related issues. Quite often young people have questions as to what gender identity is? What is social transition and how to access it e.g. name changes, binders, school uniforms, gendered spaces like changing rooms. What does medical transition mean and how can it be accessed? E.g. hormone blockers and referrals to GIC (Gender Identity Clinics). It is important to stress that we offer age appropriate information, advice and guidance on these matters and cannot offer any medical interventions. We listen to what the young person wants and offer realistic expectations based on existing evidence and legal requirements.

If additional support is required e.g. counselling, we will refer them within YPAS or onto other organisations. THE Action Youth also operates as a safe social space for young trans and gender questioning people to be themselves without fear of persecution.

 


What do you offer?

See above.


What happens after a referral is made?

If a young person self-refers by phone, text or email we will inform them about the group and invite them to attend the drop-in.

If a young person self refers or is referred for IAG (1 to 1 support) then an appointment will be made for a time of their convenience as long as a worker is available.


What will happen at the first appointment?

For THE Action Youth drop in: Most young people self-refer by attending the drop-in. When they access they will receive an induction including an explanation of how the group works and what it can offer. They will be asked if there are any particular issues they may want support with, and if they are receiving any support elsewhere.

If the appointment is for IAG: The worker will have to do an initial assessment which may take up to 1.5 hours. This will involve collecting some personal information and finding out how the staff member and young person can work together to achieve some goals.


What will happen after that?

Young people will be informed about the drop-in opening times and planned activities they may take part in.

For IAG: future appointments may be made to continue working on goals on a 1-1 basis.


What do you do if a client is not happy with the service?

The young person should be informed about YPAS’ complaints procedure and supplied with a ‘comments compliments and complaints’ document this document is also available in the YPAS reception area.


What skills do your staff have?

There are a range of skills and knowledge specifically relating to trans or gender questioning young people that the staff have acquired from years of experience working with this client group relating to social and emotional support to information on medical and psychological pathways that young people may have questions about.  Quite often young people have queries over what gender identity is, the difference between social and medical transition etc. and where to access the appropriate support when exploring these avenues.


Do you offer training in your specialist area?

Staff from THE Action Youth deliver specific ‘Gender Identity Training’  as part of the CAMHS training programme. But we also offer bespoke training packages to professionals and young people outside of the official Liverpool CAMHS training which may be costed and delivered in their workplace/ school/ youth setting etc. It is worth enquiring about the training packages by getting in touch with the workers on the contact details provided.

Training other professionals and young people to be confident to discuss sexuality and gender and furthermore appropriately challenge/report homophobic and transphobic hate crime is on offer and in continual development.

Consultation (by phone or email) can be provided for professionals working with young trans* and gender question people to help provided the most appropiate care possible.

Please contact for more details.