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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

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Therapeutic Emotional Support Service (TESS)

This page is known as: www.birmingham.gov.uk/tess



The Therapeutic and Emotional Support Service (TESS) is an ‘emotional well-being service’ for children looked after by Birmingham City Council.

TESS provides support to young people in care in three ways:

  1. Direct work with children and young people. The service has specialist staff that are trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches. These include play and art therapy; various ‘talk therapies’ and family therapy. We also have a group for older children who have difficulty managing their behaviour and may harm themselves. Our aim is to help children and young people develop the strengths they need to deal with and overcome the challenges they face both in the present and from their past experiences.

  2. Support for carers. While all children need loving and nurturing care, children in care often need more than that, they need ‘therapeutic parents’. This is because children in care have often had bad things happen to them that make it hard to trust adults. They can feel angry and frightened and will take that out on the people closest to them. We use a variety of approaches alongside individual support including a ‘therapeutic parenting group’ and work with carers and their child together in order to help develop their attachment.

  3. Support for social workers and other professionals. Sometimes it can be difficult to know how best to help a child or young person with their emotional and behavioural problems. Alongside formal assessments we provide consultation sessions at area offices as well as our ‘TESS Access Point’ (TAP), which is a helpline open between 9am and 12 noon for professionals and carers to help think about the needs of a child and discuss making a referral.


To contact TAP call the helpline between 9.00 am and midday on 0121 675 5555.