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Domestic Violence and the risk it poses for children and young people

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1 Domestic Violence and the risk it poses for children and young people
Increase knowledge regarding identification, assessment and disclosure Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Model (DVRAM) which incorporates Risk Identification Matrix (DVRIM) implemented within London Safeguarding Board’s procedure- ‘Safeguarding Children Abused through Domestic Violence’ Maddie Bell Domestic Violence Consultant e mail:

2 Barnardo’s Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Model (DVRAM) which has developed DVRIM - Domestic Violence Risk Identification Matrix Background: Adapted from a manual produced by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services in Canada Piloted with Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland over a 5 year period supported by the Domestic Violence Regional Steering Group-Support for Children’s Evaluated by Martin Calder (London and NI.)

3 Barnardo’s Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Model which has developed DVRIM
Principles of the Model: Protecting children is the first priority Protecting the non-abusing parent usually the mother helps protect the child Providing supportive resources Perpetrators are responsible for their abusive behaviour Respecting the non-abusing parents’ right to direct their life without placing children at increase risk of further abuse.

4 London Safeguarding Board Policy: ‘Safeguarding Children Abused Through Domestic Violence’
London Safeguarding Board in it’s policy document ‘Safeguarding Children Abused through Domestic Violence’. Barnardo’s Domestic Violence Risk Identification Matrix is a key multi-agency assessment tool in assessing the level of risk to children who experience domestic violence. The Matrix has been designed to work in conjunction with CAF, SPECSS, MARAC, CAADA and MASRAM.

5 What was the family’s experience of domestic violence
What was the family’s experience of domestic violence? – London Serious Case Reviews Mother was suffering or had suffered domestic violence (56%) The percentage of child protection cases involving domestic violence: 52% Nearly 75% of children on the CPR live in households where domestic violence occurs

6 Shaken Babies Shaken baby cases where domestic violence was present: 66% In the remaining 33% of cases there was no information to indicate whether or not domestic violence was present In the cases where the child was scalded by the mother, there was significant domestic violence

7 Serious case review research PHYSICAL ASSAULT AND HEAD INJURIES IN BABIES Factors linked to the child’s father There was domestic violence in most of the households where children were living (see environmental features) and this was most often linked directly to the child’s father (or their mother’s partner) who often had a history of living in a violent household as a child. Where information was recorded about fathers or father figures, behavioural problems in childhood were common. Current links with probation and mental health agencies were more frequent than links with children’s social care. For some fathers there was a past history of contact with children’s social care.

8 Serious case review research PHYSICAL ASSAULT AND HEAD INJURIES IN BABIES Factors linked to the child’s mother A history of witnessing domestic violence in childhood, sometimes, but not always, linked to parental separation. Current or recent domestic violence, including domestic violence during pregnancy, sometimes requiring hospital admission. The effects of domestic violence on the child were minimised by the mother. Significant maternal illness during pregnancy, including illness requiring hospital admission, sometimes including discharging self against medical advice. For some a history of mental health difficulties. Past but rarely current involvement with children’s social care, CAMHS, or other mental health services. A minority had a known history of sexual abuse. Some had learning difficulties or SEN statements when at school, and some were aggressive/violent at school and/or at home. Some young mothers were described as “immature”, in comparison with other young mothers, with many having “poor temper control”. Concerted efforts to conceal identity and whereabouts, for example moving frequently and changing name several times. Partner or father is an adult who poses a risk to a child (known as schedule 1 offender).

9 Serious Case Review Research Eco-Transactional Factors
Understanding Interaction of risk factors is ‘Key’ This is difficult for the medical and health care staff as there will be patchy information about parents and environmental factors.

10 Interacting risk factors: an Ecological-transactional perspective
Importance of understanding parental psychology Importance of historical context and a dynamic, analytical assessment (not incident driven) Consider dynamics of engagement with professionals (resistance, uncooperative)

11 Barnardo’s Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Model (DVRAM)- Incorporates Four Tools
Multi-agency Domestic Violence Risk Identification Matrix in the format of 4 threshold scales (DVRIM) – links to CAF and MARAC assessment processes Social Care Initial Assessment (DVRAM) –Sect. 17 & 47 to include Children's Safety Assessment (to be piloted in NI in 2009/10) Social Care Core Assessment (DVRAM)- Sect.47 Safety intervention with children and mothers Mentoring support group work programme for social care staff to support implementation of model’s tools – six months duration

12 London Safeguarding Domestic Violence policy implementing Barnardo’s Domestic violence multi-agency Risk Assessment Matrix Objectives of DVRIM To assist multi-agency and social care staff to identify risks to children from domestic violence To assist multi-agency and social care staff in decisions whether a case presents as in need of a safeguarding response or family support To help staff to make appropriate interventions for children, non-abusing parent and perpetrators To provide a specific domestic violence risk assessment format within initial and core assessments within social care To provide a model of safety intervention work for women and children

13 Child in Need Child’s Developmental Needs Parenting Capacity
Identifying Children in Need using CAF–Domestic Violence impacts on at least 80 % of assessment areas in child’s developmental needs, parenting capacity and family and environmental factors Basic care Health Education Ensuring Safety Behavioural needs Emotional & Emotional Warmth Child in Need Safeguarding and Promoting Their Welfare Identity Child’s Developmental Needs Parenting Capacity Family & Social Relationships Stimulation Presentation Social Guidance & Boundaries Self Care Skills Stability Family & Environmental Factors Community Resources Income Family’s Social Integration Wider Family Family History & Functioning Employment Housing

14 Common Assessment Framework (CAF)

15 High risk factors within the Matrix are built on:-
References/Influential Research Practice & Consultancy - Victim Focussed Risk Factors: Guidance on Investigating Domestic Violence 2005 – produced on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers by the National Centre for Police Excellence MPS – Metropolitan Police Service Risk Assessment Model for Domestic Violence These factors are based on research and analysis conducted by the Understanding and Responding to Hate Crime Team, 2001 and on SARA (Spousal Assault Risk Assessment) SARA (Spousal Assault Risk Assessment ) developed by R.Kropp CAADA and MARAC ( former Cardiff police Domestic Abuse Report) – Initial Risk Assessment- SPECSS, CUSSCAAM

16 High risk factors within the Matrix are built on:-
Child Focussed Risk Factors Evidence based practice – NI and London ( Barnet)-application of risk assessment threshold scales to over 250 social work cases. Serious Case Review Research UK June 2007-M. Brandon and London Serious Case Reviews 2007 M. Calder: Consultancy on domestic violence risk factors within ethnic minority groups C. Bell: Towards an empirical basis for Domestic Violence Risk Assessment. In Assessment in Kinship Care, by Talbot, C & Calder, M (2006) CAF – common assessment framework

17 Barnardo's Multi-Agency Domestic Violence Risk Identification Matrix (DVRIM): within the new London procedures-Safeguarding Children Abused Through Domestic Violence A multi-agency assessment framework which assesses the level of risk to a child/young person who is experiencing domestic violence in their family using a four levels threshold scale matrix (section 9.2 of London procedures) It also assesses the level of risk to the mother- incorporating adult focussed risk factors from SPECSS and MARAC (section 9) It identifies the nature and level of the perpetrator's violence and abuse (supports Section 9-1-4) It indicates the level of intervention required to support and safeguard children and in doing so also can be used to protect mother ( section 9.2) It begins to examine the impact of the domestic violence on the child and mother ( section 8 and 9)

18 Responding to Domestic Violence where there are no children in the household:
Establish if woman is a vulnerable adult –refer to POVA procedures Use risk identification matrix to assess the level of risk of harm to woman Refer the woman to local DV agency – if risk of harm is at threshold 3 consider making a referral into the MARAC process and threshold 4 –make referral to MARAC

19 London Safeguarding Procedures for Multi-Agency Risk Identification Matrix (DVRIM):
Each threshold scale has categories to assist the professional to think through what the information they have is about Evidence of domestic violence-this is the most significant determinate of the scales – attention to severity, frequency, pattern and duration of domestic violence incident Characteristics of the child or situation which are additional risk factors/potential vulnerabilities: these are factors that may increase the risk to children Characteristics of the child or situation which are protective factors. Professionals should keep in mind that protective factors may help to mitigate risk factors and potential vulnerabilities The matrix also identifies the risks to mothers and enhances the use of SPECCS, MARAC and MASRAM processes

20 London Safeguarding Procedures for Multi-Agency Risk Identification Matrix (DVRIM):
The younger the child(ren) the higher the risk to their safety. Any child aged under 7 or child with special needs in the family can raise the threshold to scale 3/4 as child(ren) may be potentially at risk of significant harm and referral into Social Care – for section 17 or section 47 – WHY? Young children have no or extremely limited self-protection strategies and they seek out mother’s comfort when anxious/upset-they are often ‘caught up’ or ‘come down’ into the DV incident. Older children can develop short-term coping strategies that may keep them safe in the ‘short term’ but all children suffer from ‘potential or actual ‘emotional abuse. All children who experience DV in their families are exposed to hostile/tense family environments, AND they can directly witness, intervene or be directly physically abused or sexually abused Child who ‘summons help’ are at increased risk as they may be ‘punished’ by abuser for ‘calling in’ professional help.

21 Factors that increase vulnerability/ level of risk to child:
Duration of the domestic violence incident Severity of the domestic violence and abuse Age of children and age range of children within the family: Children under 12 months including an unborn child-even if the child was not present, any single incident of DV will fall within scale 4-Section 47 enquiry - referral to LA children’s social care Children or a mother with special needs- (mother may be a vulnerable adult - consult POVA) Interlinking risk factors/cluster effect: substance misuse, mental health issues, neglect/parenting issues, age and age disparities of mother/father/father figure/adult learning difficulties Vulnerable history of both women and abuser Child/ren or mothers from a BMER community Child/ren being physically and sexually abused Child/ren may be perpetrating abuse towards other family members

22 Risk Identification Matrix
Threshold scales 1 and 2 assess the domestic abuse as moderate and family support is deemed the supportive intervention. An assessment may be completed one each child in family/household. Scale 2 has a specific risk factor regarding the age of children living in the family – the age of the child increases the level of risk and can raise the threshold scale for the family to scale 3.

23 Risk Identification Matrix
Scales 3 and 4 assesses the severity of domestic violence as serious and severe with increasing concern regarding children’s well being due to additional contributory risk factors An assessment is required-Level 3 –section and level 4 Section 47 At level 3 safeguarding procedures may be initiated

24 DVRAM Tool Two: Social Care Domestic Violence Initial Assessment tool
Area ASSESS THE NATURE OF THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Guidance Triggers: Severity of the incidents - Pattern, frequency and duration/process of domestic violence-not isolate incident Perpetrator’s level of dangerous –weapons, criminal history ( refer to threshold scales) Is mother pregnant? Escalation of abuse-separation violence, stalking/harassment and use of isolation. Is there protracted custody and contact disputes Prior evidence of victim or perpetrator being in an abusive relationship Use of separation violence/retaliation abusive/threatening behaviour of perpetrator Co-existence of child abuse, child sexual abuse, parental mental health problems, substance misuse Parental learning difficulties

25 DVRAM Tool Two: Social Care Domestic Violence Initial Assessment tool
Area 2 ASSESS RISKS TO CHILDREN/YOUNG PEOPLE Guidance Triggers: Age range of children under 7 yrs (young children/children with special needs increases risk) How where children caught up in the abuse, directly witnessed, intervened, coerced into abuse of mother, summoned help?- children who summons help are at an increased risk of further abuse from perpetrator/mother .Child’s demeanour’s i.e.. duration of incident, child’s actions during incident, impact on child (aftermath of incident-days following) Evidence of child being exposed to domestic violence:-changes in child’s demeanour/behaviour: self harm, exhibiting distracted behaviours (lack of concentration), aggressive, concerning behaviour, young carer responsibilities ,child neglect, bulling or being bullied, over-eager to be and remain in school BMER ( black,minority,ethnic,refugee) issues causing concern in child’s current family circumstances

26 DVRAM Tool Two: Social Care Domestic Violence Initial Assessment tool
Area 3 ASSESS PROTECTIVE FACTORS Guidance Triggers: Woman’s acknowledges risks to self and children Woman is receptive to supportive services –is risk level is high woman will separate and go to safe accommodation Significant ‘safe other’/positive family support Perpetrator has made “initial attempts” to be accountable for his abusive behaviour – compliant, unsure of motivation to seek appropriate help Protective orders in place/being sought – but recent separation does not guarantee safety – risk of separation violence, retaliation violence or reconciliation Risk matrix scale level and summary of risk factors identified in family

27 DVRAM Tool Three : Domestic Violence Core Assessment Tool for social care staff undertaking section 17 and section 47 Enquires

28 Domestic Violence Core Assessment –Nine assessment areas
Assess the nature of the violence Assess risks to the children posed by the perpetrator Assess the risk of life-threatening abuse Assess the perpetrator’s pattern of assault and coercive behaviours. Assess the impact of the violence on the children Assess the impact of the abuse on the woman Assess the impact of the abuse on parenting roles Assess protective factors Assess the outcome of the woman’s past help seeking Each of these areas is broken down further into what we call ‘ Trigger areas’ – these provide a structure to enable sw to collect specific detailed information or identify where there are gaps in information. I will now go through ? areas

29 Mentoring Programme for DVRAM
Mentoring programme for DVRAM provided input on: Engaging with perpetrator-guidance for social care staff undertaking an initial interview with an abuser Children’s resilience-guidance on variation of impact on child/ren and possible resilient factors A framework for assessing female use of violence within an intimate adult relationship. Parenting style of an abuser –an assessment of an abuser’s parenting role These additional frameworks need to be developed as appendixes to the DVRAM core assessment tool

30 DVRAM’s Tool Four: Safety Interventions with Women and Children/Young People-a Parallel Intervention

31 Safety Planning- steps with women
1. Personnel safety when he is threatening or being violent. 2. Personnel safety when preparing to leave. 3. Personnel safety when you are no longer living with with your abusive partner. 4. Personnel safety and your emotional health.

32 Safety Steps 5. Personnel safety when you are working/in public.
6. Personnel safety when you are using alcohol/drugs. 7. Personnel safety with orders of protection. 8. Personnel safety and my children.

33 Safety Planning with Children 5yrs to 12 yrs –using talking pictures-for both front line staff and supportive DV services

34 Children’s Safety Steps
Sometimes things are OK in my family but sometimes my parents fight and my dad hurts my mum.

35 Children’s Safety Steps
I can keep ‘myself safe’ when dad hurts mum by staying in my bedroom

36 Children’s Safety Steps
Keeping myself safe by staying ‘out of dad and mum’s fights

37 Key Safety Messages to Children
Child is not to blame when dad hits mum Domestic violence is not children’s fault. It is an adult problem. Child need to go to a safe place when dad is hurting mum Mum wants you to go to your safe place Stay out of the fights as dad could hurt you too Children who summons help; use of mobile phone-Professionals be aware that child can be ‘punished’ for summoning help by parents so must seek mother’s consent to teach child how to use 999 in their safety plan Children don’t have to keep secrets when they are being hurt and abused Children don’t have to keep secrets when they are feeling scared Just because mum argues with dad or dad feels angry with mum,doesn’t make it OK for him to hit her.

38 Barnardo's DVRIM with London procedures and DVRAM within Social Care-Benefits
Increased staff awareness and understanding of the dynamics of DV and the risks it poses for children, young people and victims An improvement in social workers ability to respond more effectively to domestic violence and assess risks to children and young people Increased safety measures for children and young people in families where domestic violence occurs Non-abusing parent will be more aware of the risks posed by domestic violence which can enable the non-abusing parent to keep themselves and their children safer. More accurate risk assessments within core and initial assessment processes More children will be identified requiring support. Children/ YP and the non-abusive parent will learn skills to keep themselves safe Parallel domestic violence risk assessment process alongside adult risk assessment– model matches up with MARAC SPECCS and CAADA assessment It is an holistic assessment model Users perspective on the impact of the assessment tool would be beneficial

39 Barnardo's DVRIM with London procedures and DVRAM within Social Care-Benefits
More comprehensive assessment of families Provides a consistent framework to assessing level of risk Increase safeguarding of children with greater informed decision making. Greater focus on the needs of children and victims Offers holistic support to families Greater support to staff dealing with domestic violence cases It enhances the assessment process within CAF as a specific risk assessment tool for domestic violence It supports the five outcomes within Every Child Matters Maintains the focus of domestic violence as a main concern within the assessment framework without marginalising any other significant concern

40 New Risk Factors identified in DVRIM this year in NI as it develops and is implemented within social care assessment processes: Child who summons help – use of 999 AND Child who discloses domestic violence may be at risk of adverse reaction (be punished) by abusive father/father figure and also mother for summoning help - needs a section 47 response from Social Care Use of social care complaints procedures to obstruct social care assessment and monitoring work- is a another contributing risk factor to Agency Assessment Paralysis – a risk factor identified in serious case review research.

41 Specific risk considerations to be developed as appendix to DVRIM
• Risk factors associated with ‘Female use of physical violence’ • Risk factors associated with female perpetrators of Domestic violence abuse • Risk factors associated with same-sex domestic violence • Risk factors associated with young people perpetrators of domestic violence • Risk factors associated with domestic violence and contact considerations • Risk factors associate with domestic violence in pre-birth risk assessments

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