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Hertfordshire County Council

Safe Space offers children and young people across Hertfordshire a creative, confidential and safe space to explore any issues affecting their everyday lives.

Counselling in Schools service

The Counselling in Schools service provides counselling and art therapy to primary schools, secondary schools and colleges across Hertfordshire.  

Please note that due to a high volume of demand for art therapy currently, this provision is only available in limited areas of the county. Please contact the Safe Space team to check availability before making a referral for art therapy.

Make a referral

A professional must make the referral to Counselling in Schools.

Professionals should complete the Safe Space referral form (PDF 353kb) to refer a child or young person for counselling or art therapy provision.

Referrals should only be sent via email when the sender has a secure email address. Otherwise HertsFX or Schools FX must be used.

You can email the form to the Counselling in Schools team:


We are a traded service meaning funding is needed in order for the work to go ahead.

The majority of work is funded by schools direct. However, depending on the circumstances of the child or young person, alternative funding may be available to support the work.

We provide free CRISIS support to schools when there has been a serious incident.

Alternative funding

We're now commissioned by several different organisations to deliver projects which means you may be able to refer to us at no extra cost.

Single Point of Access (SPA)

Parents/carers, schools and other professionals can refer children and young people to Single Point of Access for therapeutic support. Such referrals may get triaged to Safe Space to provide 12 sessions of support funded by Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust.

Virtual School (CLA)

For CLA, schools can access termly funding from the Virtual School for such pupils which can be used to access therapeutic support.

Who we can work with

The service works with children and young people aged 5 -19 years (up to 21 years for care leavers). If the young person is not at school or college, we can make arrangements to see them at another appropriate space.

Counselling / Art Therapy can be helpful:

  • When there is evidence of a behavioural change
  • When a young person is angry, shows mood swings or signs of depression
  • When parents are going through divorce or separation and there are signs of distress
  • Following the death of a family member or friend
  • When there is suspected abuse or domestic violence
  • When there are difficulties with friendships and/or bullying
  • When a child/young person is having difficulty settling in
  • When there are identity issues i.e. gender, cultural
  • If there are health or disability issues e.g. life limiting illnesses
  • When a child/young person refuses to engage with specialist services
  • When they are willing to engage in counselling / art therapy on a voluntary basis
  • When they are not engaged in counselling or therapy elsewhere at the time.


  • Improved self-esteem
  • Reducing the risk of exclusion
  • Improvements in behaviour and/or attendance
  • Improved peer relationships
  • Better attainment/achievement

Quality assured service

  • All our counsellors are qualified to at least Diploma level.
  • Our art therapists are qualified to Masters level.
  • All our therapists have a valid Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • All counsellors are accredited or working towards accreditation with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
  • All counsellors and art therapists access regular clinical supervision.

Training and supervision

We offer reflective supervision and training for schools and professionals under our Counselling in Schools service. To discuss your needs, costs and our availability please contact the Safe Space team via: or 01992 588796.


Mentoring involves a young person meeting with a volunteer mentor for an hour or so a week, in a public place such as a café or library (or engaging in a social activity).

Make a referral

A professional must make a referral to the Mentoring programme.

A professional could be a teacher or someone at school if no other professionals are involved. For young people under the age of 13 signed parental consent is required.

If you wish to make a referral this must first be discussed with a Mentoring Co-ordinator in order to check suitability and waiting times.

To do this you can email or call the office on 01992 588796.


Our mentoring programme is free to access, however we do have a cap on the number of referrals any one school/college or district team/service can make at any one time free of charge to ensure our programme is accessible across the whole county.

Any one referrer or school/college may only make a maximum of 2 referrals at any time free of charge, and any one district team/service may only make a maximum of 5 referrals at any time free of charge.

Any number of referrals above these caps are chargeable.

Who we can work with

The Safe Space mentoring programme is available to 11-19* year olds (up to 25 years for young people with learning difficulties/disabilities and those who are care leavers) across Hertfordshire who have low to mid-level support needs. *If aged 11 the young person must be in year 7.

The programme is voluntary so the young person must agree to the referral and support.

What we offer

Mentoring gives young people a chance to talk about anything they wish to discuss or want advice on.

Typically, mentoring lasts for 6 months, however, this can be longer or shorter depending on the young person’s needs.

Some young people decide to set goals at the beginning of the mentoring, whilst others simply value the one to one time, just to talk with someone outside of their family / school.


All our mentors go through a recruitment process, 2 day training and have a valid Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Training and supervision

The mentoring team also offer training and consultancy for schools and other organisations/services. To discuss your needs and costs, please contact the mentoring team via:

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