Training services

Advanced Domestic Violence Risk Assessment  

3 Day Training Course

COST:  £520 (delegates working in statutory sector);  £400 (voluntary sector or self-funding delegates)

This training is aimed at practitioners who have a sound theoretical grounding in the dynamics of power and control within intimate partner violence and wish to develop their  analytical skills around assessing risk in this area.

The course will cover:

  • What risks are in relation to domestic violence and why we assess them

  • The impact of DV on victims

  • Theory and methodology of assessment tools

  • Static and dynamic indicators

  • Effective interview styles and techniques for challenging minimisation, denial and blame

  • Recommendations for risk management

DVIP’s training is delivered by highly skilled and experienced practitioners, using a range of interactive exercises.  This course will incorporate plenty of opportunities for practicing risk assessment skills including client interview techniques. The training will utilise the most up to date research and information concerning the main indicators of risk.

Following this training, delegates should be able to:

  • Make an analysis of risk and safety concerns in cases of domestic violence;

  • Interview clients effectively in order to assess their risk;

  • Devise risk management strategies, including consideration for safe child contact and referrals to appropriate interventions. 

To book a place on this course or for more information, contact liz.ostrowski@dvip.org


Bespoke training packages for your organization

We offer a range of training programmes for professionals who work with clients affected by domestic violence.

Our programmes include:

  • Risk assessment and safety planning

  • Providing integrated domestic violence intervention services

  • Providing integrated women’s support services

  • Working with children exposed to domestic violence

  • Working with Arabic-speaking communities on issues of domestic violence, including cultural and religious considerations.

  • Supporting families that are experiencing violence and abuse from young people.

  • Training for DVPP providers 

Our knowledgeable trainers come from a range of backgrounds. These include psychology, counselling and psychotherapy, probation and child protection services. They have a detailed understanding of DVIP’s intervention model in practice, and are experienced in working with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence.

We can design specific training courses for your organisation, and we can work with your team as advisors to support the development of your organisation’s domestic violence practice.  If you’d like to know more, please contact us.


How We Work


The combined group and individual programmes include elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psychodrama, Psychotherapy, Social Learning Theory, Solution Focussed Therapy and Relationship Skills Teaching. The programmes are interactive and responsive to individual needs.


Support for Mothers


Parenting during and following domestic violence is extremely difficult. Whether a woman has left her partner, or is still in an abusive relationship, her parenting will almost certainly be affected.


A mother’s authority as a parent may be eroded by her abusive partner, leaving her feeling powerless and lacking confidence in her parenting. She may experience a huge amount of guilt and may hold herself responsible for the effects of domestic violence on her child.


The developing attachment relationship between a mother and her child may be damaged by attacks on the child’s primary source of safety. A mother’s ability to attend to her child may be compromised by the attention she must instead focus on her partner. She may appear emotionally unavailable to her child and be unable to contain her child’s fears and anxieties.


Long after the violence has ended, both mother and child may struggle to cope with the enduring effects of trauma in their relationship. A mother may struggle to set and adhere to clear boundaries for her children as she may equate control with violence and abuse. Alternatively she may replicate the harsh and controlling parenting behaviours used by her partner.


Support for Fathers


Observation and clinical experience suggest that perpetrators of domestic violence are often more controlling and authoritarian, less consistent, and more likely to manipulate the children and undermine the mothers parenting than non violent fathers.2


Bancroft and Silverman (2002) draw on their clinical experience and suggest a number of continued risks to children from contact with perpetrators:


  • Risk of continued exposure to authoritarian or neglectful parenting

  • Risk of continued undermining of mothers parenting and the mother child relationship

  • Risk of exposure to new threats or violence, psychological abuse, or direct victimization by the perpetrator

  • Risk of learning beliefs and attitudes that support violence and abuse

  • Risk of being abducted or used as a tool

  • Risk of exposure to violence in the perpetrators subsequent relationships


Most perpetrator programs historically have not included significant content on parenting however recent attention has focused on how the parenting of both perpetrators and victims/survivors may be better assessed and improved through education and support.


Individual work


The programme begins with four individual pre group sessions. These sessions enable practitioners to build relationships with fathers, to meet with referring agencies and clarify the purpose of the work. The sessions include:


  • Risk assessment

  • Safety planning

  • Building strengths

  • Setting goals

  • Motivational work

  • Agreeing a group work contract


There will be a further 6 individual sessions peppered through the group work programme. These additional individual sessions allow the practitioners to explore topics raised in the group in more depth and to focus on individual father’s needs and concerns.


Individual sessions will take place during working hours 9am – 5pm.


Group work


The group work consists of 20 structured sessions. Areas covered include:


  • Defining domestic violence and exploring different forms of abuse

  • Exploring the power and control dynamics that underpin domestic violence

  • Identifying how domestic violence affects family relationships

  • Recognising children’s individual needs and understanding child development

  • Developing a clear understanding of responsibility by challenging denial and minimisation of domestic violence

  • Exploring the impact of domestic violence on children and learning to talk to children about abuse

  • Basic anger management

  • Examining fathers own experiences of being parented

  • Exploring the affects of domestic violence and abuse on women and children

  • Encouraging child centred parenting

  • Taking specific steps towards accountability

  • Exploring abuse in sexual relationships

  • Learning to communicate in a non-violent manner and express anger safely


Group work will take place one evening a week. Each group work session will last approximately 2 ½ hours.


Information Sharing


Referrers will be invited to a meeting with the parent and the practitioner.


Mothers enter into a confidential relationship. No information about will be shared without consent. The only exception to this rule is Safeguarding.


Fathers will have limited Confidentiality. Their (ex)partners will be informed that they have been accepted onto the Jacana Service and will be able to find out whether they attend sessions and how engaged they are with the material.


Referral Criteria:


  • Families in which at least one member lives in Hackney or has significant connections to the borough

  • Parents with children of any age

  • Parents whose English and/or literacy will enable them to access a group programme and limited written materials

  • Parents who want to make changes in their relationships


Fathers Mothers


Bhupinder Virdee Alexandra Foster

Parenting Practitioner Parenting Practitioner


DVIP the nia project

Devonshire House PO Box 58203

164-168 Westminster Bridge Rd London

London N1 3XP



Bhupinder@dvip.org afoster@niaproject.plus.com


To refer couples, please send a copy of the referral to both Parenting Practitioners.


1 Home office statistical bulletin crime in England and Wales 2008/2009. London: Home office. 

2 Bancroft, L., and Silverman, J. (2002). The batterer as parent. Sage 




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