The Aquarius Service | Oxfordshire County Council

The Aquarius Service

Support for children and young people in Oxfordshire affected by others drug or alcohol use

The Aquarius service offers support to those who misuse substances and also those who are affected by their family’s use.

Young people aged 11 – 19 (up to 25 for those with complex needs)

We know that some children and young people suffer neglect because of parental or guardian substance misuse. Aquarius offers therapeutic support to children and young people aged from 11 to 19 years old who are affected by current or historic family substance misuse.

It may be helpful for young people who:

  • are anxious, stressed or worried
  • have difficulty managing their emotions and behaviour
  • are withdrawn or seem unhappy
  • demonstrate lower than expected academic progress
  • have difficulty forming or maintaining relationships

Children aged 5 – 10 years old

We also have a dedicated Children’s Play Therapy Worker who is qualified to deliver psychological therapies to children aged between five and ten years old and will offer support on a weekly one to one basis. Support is offered from one to six months in an agreed setting, typically the child’s school. The sessions will consist of age appropriate play interventions which will focus on and enable children to:

  • express their thoughts and feelings
  • explore their anxieties and fears
  • learn to manage their behaviours and develop coping strategies
  • develop their resilience and confidence
  • find healthier ways to communicate
  • build healthier relationships within their family, school and peers

Support for young people who misuse drugs and alcohol

We will support anyone up to the age of 19 (or 25 in cases where it is appropriate), living in Oxfordshire with a substance misuse problem or at risk of developing one.

Many of the young people we work with also have other vulnerabilities; school exclusions, truancy, teenage pregnancy, child sexual exploitation, in care or leaving care, homelessness, mental, emotional and physical health issues, offending, lack of education attainment and unemployment.

Although we work with young people/children as individuals, we adopt the ‘Think Family’ philosophy and make sure that the support provided by Aquarius is co-ordinated and has a focus on problems affecting the whole family.

We provide:

  • outreach to engage with hard to reach and ‘at risk’ young people
  • brief interventions and advice
  • comprehensive assessment and care planning
  • 1:1 support and structured interventions
  • group work
  • support and training for parents, carers and professionals
  • referrals to specialist services
Name Service manager Countrywide Tel No
  Service Manager Countywide 07817 881277
Carolyn Rackstraw Play therapist (Children’s worker) Countywide 07977 480463
Chris Papadopoulos Specialist drug and alcohol worker Floating worker 07950 301426
Sue Kovacs Specialist drug and alcohol worker Abingdon - South Area 07789 942620
Chris Papadopoulos Specialist drug and alcohol worker Banbury - North Area 07825 932661
Louise Simpson Specialist drug and alcohol worker Bicester - North Area 07917 627488
Laura Kirkham Specialist drug and alcohol worker City Area 07824 599747
Philip Edwards Specialist drug and alcohol worker City Area 07917 627485
Gurlie Lonsdale Specialist drug and alcohol worker Didcot - South Area 07827 233246
Merline Napier Specialist drug and alcohol worker Witney - North Area 07789 982252
Last reviewed
10 March 2017
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