Read below to find out more about:
- Assessments to inform both care planning and Family Court decisions.
- Our group treatment programme for men: the Violence Prevention Programme. It is open to any man who identifies that he has a problem with his abusive or violent behaviour in his relationships with women. We accept referrals from statutory agencies such as Social Services and the Family Courts, who fund their referrals attendance. We accept self-referrals, who pay a fee based on an income-related sliding scale.
- Our Women’s Support Service. We offer this to women; whose partner or ex-partner is referred to our Violence Prevention Programme; who are involved with the Family Courts, and who are referred by Social Services.
- Our service for Arabic-speakers, Al-Aman.
We prepare Risk Identification Reports for statutory agencies, to assess the risks of domestic violence for mothers and children in cases where there is no court involvement. Evaluations show that social workers find these reports valuable: they help to inform Care Planning decisions and help in understanding domestic violence within a particular family.
Reports are prepared by our multi-disciplinary team, whose qualifications include: PhD Social Work, MSc Health Psychology and Diploma in Person Centred Counselling. All staff are trained in: practical skills and techniques in delivering perpetrator programmes and support services; risk assessment and risk management; and safeguarding procedures.
We prepare a Needs Assessment Report for statutory agencies to address the needs of mothers who are considered vulnerable because of domestic violence. This is suitable for cases where there is no court involvement.
For the Family Courts, we deliver Assessment Reports, which assess the risks of domestic violence and inform both public and private law proceedings.
Public law risk assessments are undertaken when care proceedings are under way or likely to be initiated. Assessment may involve: a risk assessment of the father; a vulnerability assessment of the mother; or a joint risk assessment incorporating both of these.
Assessments in private law cases provide an in-depth risk assessment of a father who is in the process of applying for contact with his child or children. Court Risk Assessment Reports are prepared by specialist assessors. DVIP Assessors have a minimum of four years experience of delivering treatment and assessing clients; training in domestic violence risk assessment; experience of giving evidence in court as an expert witness and at least a graduate-level qualification in a relevant professional discipline such as psychology or criminology.
About our Violence Prevention Programme
This Respect Accredited groupwork programme has 26 structured sessions designed to help men to understand why they have used abusive behaviour, how they can change this, and how they can work towards respectful relationships with women.
The programme challenges men to take responsibility for their actions rather than blaming their partners or outside factors for their violence. Men are taught to critically assess their gender-based expectations of themselves and their partners. It is not an anger management or counselling group; it is designed specifically to address domestic violence.
The programme draws on a wide range of approaches including cognitive, behavioural, social learning theory, psychodrama, psychotherapeutic and relationship skills teaching. This enables us to create a challenging environment and at the same time offer support for personal change.
We deliver the programme in two stages. The first third focuses on ending physical and sexual violence. The remaining two thirds focus on ending other forms of abuse and developing relationship skills.
Groups run on a rolling programme with a new intake every six weeks. Sessions last three hours and are held weekly in the evenings.
We run a fortnightly follow-on group for men who have completed the programme. Sessions last for two hours. They provide ongoing support for men to maintain changes they have made and encourage non-abusive and respectful behaviour.
A note about individual work: In our experience, individual work is less effective than groupwork. It does not provide the same opportunities for supportive confrontation, or for men to learn from each other and break the silence that many abusers create. We only offer individual work to men who are already attending a group or who need extra support for example because of language or literacy difficulties, because he is considered a suicide risk, or because we have particular concerns about his partner’s safety.
About our Women’s Support Service
Women need different types of support so our service is flexible. Women choose which elements to use and when. The service is free to all women referred to us, or whose partner is referred to us.
We focus on helping women to improve their own and their children’s safety. We enable women to explore their experiences of domestic violence and gain more control over their lives. We offer support, safety planning and information, and promote realistic expectations of our work with her partner or ex-partner. We advocate on women’s behalf to statutory agencies.
We proactively contact every woman whose partner is referred to the Violence Prevention Programme, by phone and with an information pack. We stay in touch with all women clients through regular phone calls. If there are specific concerns for a woman’s safety or her children’s safety, we make contact a priority and take all available steps to minimise the risks.
We offer the following to all women referred to us for linked support:
- Six sessions of one-to-one work, which we can extend according to her needs and circumstances
- One-to-one telephone support sessions as an alternative, for women who have difficulty attending in person. This may be because of children, a disability, travel difficulties or a controlling partner.
- We encourage women to phone us when they need to. We provide telephone cover whenever possible; when we need to use an answering machine we return calls promptly.
- A weekly support group (one group meets in school hours and one evening group), sessions last for 2 hours. We encourage women to attend on a regular basis. Our facilitators encourage women to take responsibility for the goup and the issues discussed, using a range of councselling, therapeutic and educational techniques.
About our specialist programme for additionally vulnerable mothers
We offer a specialist programme for women who are perceived to be unable to protect themselves and their children from domestic violence, and who face the possibility that their children will no longer be resident with them.
It focuses on factors that leave some women particularly vulnerable to re-assault. It aims to help women plan and act to improve their safety and their children’s safety. The programme consists of 10 group sessions and 10 individual sessions, followed by a review. This programme is also available to women for whom English is not their first language, and is delivered on an individual basis with an interpreter.
Arabic speaking women can have the programme delivered in their own language through our Al-Aman service. To access this service a vulnerability assessment will need to be completed. All queries should go to the Family Court Team.
To refer a woman to this programme, the Family Court or Local Authority must direct her to attend and confirm funding with the family court team. This programme is available for those in care proceedings or pre proceedings if accompanied with a vulnerability assessment, which can be completed alongside or before the programme.
About our service for Arabic speakers in London
This is provided through our Al-Aman Project.
We offer support to any Arabic-speaking woman who lives in London and experiences domestic violence from her partner or ex-partner. Support includes safety planning, telephone support, and one-to-one support sessions.