More information about the C-card scheme is available here. We understand this is a sensitive subject. You are very welcome to come along and chat to us at the club (it may be necessary to make an appointment outside of a youth club session time, as the sessions can be busy).
We are registered as a C-card site with the Northern Devon NHS Trust. Two of our youth support workers have trained with the Eddystone Trust and with the Exeter-based NHS sexual health lead, to deliver C-card in Moretonhampstead. This means that the club displays some discreet posters with the black “C” logo and a young person can request a confidential interview with one of our C-card workers. If there is no safeguarding or abuse concern, and the Fraser Guidelines are met, the young person can register for a C-card which can allow them to access a small number of free condoms per visit, if certain criteria are met. Each visit to a C-card site involves a further interview with a trained worker and each site must keep anonymised records of visits and report back to the NHS Trust.
A C-card interview is not about simply “promoting the use of contraception”. Just because a young person asks for a C-card interview does not automatically mean they would be granted access to contraception (for example, if the C-card worker believes that the young person does not have a full understanding of the potential consequences of sexual activity).
Where a young person has made or is likely to make the decision to become sexually active, regardless of whether he or she has access to contraception, and in the situation that he or she is “Gillick competent” (legally competent to do so), it is recognised by the medical profession and the law that healthy, positive outcomes are far more likely if that young person have been offered sexual health information and access to contraception.
In the situation that a safeguarding, abuse or CSE concern is suspected, this would be dealt with as any other child protection concern as set out in our policy and where appropriate would be reported to the Early Help Team or to MASH. Any sexual activity involving under-13s must be automatically reported to MASH.
The C-card interview checks for signs of problematic relationships and the interviewer will remind young people that they can always say no to sexual activity (see the excellent and adaptable “101 ways” as an example of how this might be approached). C-card workers will encourage young people to talk to a parent or other trusted family member, i.e. older sibling, and where necessary will signpost young people to appropriate sources of information and services i.e. the Health Centre or the Pharmacy.
Fraser guidelines and Gillick competency explained here
NSPCC information on the subject here
Related NHS Choices discussion on the rights of a child to refuse treatment here