I would like to retrain to do something with child/adolescence counselling and want to do it properly and get a recognised qualification. I can't seem to find information on a path to take and courses within my area (SW). Has anyone done this/have any suggestions please?
I have a feeling this is not a regulated area of work therefore it has more to do with experience. You could look at a psychology degree and also social work. Or teaching. All of these could set you on the right path. To be an educational psychologist is a very difficult route and extremely time consuming because most people are teachers first and then do years of further qualification.. Could you not contact someone doing this work and see how they got into it? What is their experience and qualification? Social services may also be able to tell you what you can do. Are there private counselling services you could contact?
To be a properly qualified and certified counsellor will take a lot of time and money. You'd need hours of supervision, which is usually charged at a rate of £50 per hour, on top of course fees, plus work experience.
To find a suitable starting point to train, mabe this: www.cpcab.co.uk. Training will definitely have costs but for the higher education levels you may qualify for student finance, and the supervised training hours you'll eventually need that a poster mentioned above shouldn't cost money, only time.