Domestic Violence Policy

Date: September 2020

Review Date: August 2022

Children First believes that everyone has the right to live safely and with out the fear of violence and cruelty. It also recognises that domestic violence is unacceptable and:

  • Occurs throughout society irrespective of class, income, race, culture, religion, gender or sexuality.
  • Can be psychological, physical, sexual or emotional.

Is rarely a one off incident and usually takes the form of a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour that allows the abuser to seek and maintain power and control over one or more members of their family and sometimes others.

Can have a far-reaching effect and impact upon others and especially children.

Children First Derby believes that every child has the right to grow and develop in an environment free of domestic violence, whether directly as a victim or indirectly as a witness of violence in its home or community.

Children First Derby accepts that some families using its services will have experienced varying levels of domestic violence. It will therefore ensure that these families receive a service that is sensitive, meets their needs and does everything possible to protect them from further harm. This will be achieved by adherence to the following:

The Referral Process

The centre’s Referral Form will have been completed in full. A comprehensive Risk Assessment will have been completed covering:

  • The nature and extent of any violence.
  • The involvement of any other statutory or voluntary agencies with the victim, perpetrator or any other members of the family
  • How any violence has affected adults and or children both inside and outside of the immediate family.
  • How any contact is going to be managed in a way that takes account of peoples wishes and feelings and reduces the risk of further harm.

Working with the Family

  • Once a family has been accepted provision will be made for:
  • The Contact Plan or Contract to make reference to how any ongoing risks presented by domestic violence will be assessed, managed and reviewed.
  • An independent interpreter to be available when a families first language is not English
  • Parents to visit the centre separately before any contact commences
  • Parents to be given clear instructions in writing about the times they should arrive and the entrance to the centre they should use.
  • Parents to wait in a separate and secure rooms
  • Resident parents to explore the possibility of someone other than themselves or their new partner bringing the children to the centre if it is safer and more appropriate.
  • Any distress to children or adults brought about by bullying or pressure to disclose information to be dealt with promptly and firmly
  • Contact to be terminated immediately if it is felt that anyone involved is or could be at significant risk of harm
  • The police to be called if a member of staff feels that anyone is at immediate risk of harm and the situation cannot be defused.
  • Use of the centre to be denied to any individual or family where it is felt that there presence is likely to present a threat to the well being of other centre users and or staff
  • One parent to wait at the end of contact until the other has left the centre and the area immediately around it.
  • The addresses, telephone numbers and other sensitive information relating to the family to always remain strictly confidential.

Centre Staffing

Children First will ensure that:

  • There will be a minimum of two members of staff when the centre is open.
  • Staff will be made aware of the circumstances and needs of families using the centre.
  • A telephone is always available
  • Staff are aware of and follow an agreed procedure in the event of a violent incident or an emergency.

Staff Training

Children first will ensure that its staff

  • Are aware of and operate in accordance with its policy in relation to domestic violence
  • Receive regular training in issues relating to domestic violence.
  • Are familiar with the patterns of domestic violence in relation to the perpetrator and the victim
  • Acquire skills in conflict resolution and in defusing situations where anger is being displayed.
  • Have access to a recognised and easily accessible system/procedure to offer them support if they become involved in a stressful or violent incident.

Confidentiality

Children First will operate in accordance with its Confidentiality policy in relation to:

  • Interagency Working
  • Safeguarding and Child Protection
  • Disclosing Information

Additional Issues

  • Referrers and families using the centre will be made aware of its policy in relation to domestic violence.
  • Any individual or agency wishing to challenge how the centre implements its policy in relation to domestic violence should be referred to the centres complaints procedure.
  • The centre’s policy in relation to domestic violence will be reviewed and if necessary updated annually.

LB September 2020

Back to Reports and Policies ->