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Nicky Stanley, Pam Millar, Helen Richardson & Gill Thomson

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1 Nicky Stanley, Pam Millar, Helen Richardson & Gill Thomson
Meeting the needs of children living with domestic violence How the Domestic Violence Multi-Agency Risk Identification Matrix supports the recommendations of this research: Children and families experiencing domestic violence: Police and children’s social services’ responses. Nicky Stanley, Pam Millar, Helen Richardson & Gill Thomson Maddie Bell or Vivienne Springer Domestic Violence Consultants Barnardo's or

2 Implementing DVRIM: The Way Forward?
Ensures identification, assessment of domestic violence and the risks it poses for children and their mothers- through a parallel risk assessment process in an interagency setting. Police, DASH- MARAC,CAF, Social Care –Coordinators play a key role in the multi-agency use of DVRIM; Improves the visibility of all children in the family; Earlier intervention - responding to disclosure - CAF or Social Care referral?; Sharing information - considered safety and well-being of children and victim; Holistic assessments, with good safe analysis of risk; Effective planning with effective interventions for children and adults;

3 DVRIM: The Way Forward? Effective communication with recording;
Professionals owning their professional autonomy to make objective judgements; Challenging ‘fixed thinking’ about the family; Multi-agency working, including health professionals, housing, A&E, police, support agencies; The continual development of our skills, commitment and tenacity for working with men; Actual reflective supervision for the individual and team. .

4 NPSCC RESEARCH: Responding to Key Findings
Children and young people need to be listened to, believed and need to ‘FEEL SAFE’ Young people felt excluded or ignored when police intervened in domestic violence incidents & wanted more information London DV procedures and Barnardo’s risk assessment model ensures parallel safety planning intervention for children, young people and their mothers. Children (if age appropriate) will be ‘spoken to’ and be given a safety plan London DV procedures Section: 10.7-Police Response: What the children saw or heard; Description of the child’s demeanour and emotional state; If possible, a categorisation of the risk to the children & a history of the abuse the children have seen and heard. Example: Barnet; children’s centres plan to provide safety planning to child & mother & use DVRIM to assess risks level to child Ref London DV procedures Section 14 & Appendix 9

5 NSPCC research Responding to Key Findings
Conceptualising children and young people as victims of domestic violence may assist police officers to acknowledge and engage with their needs more fully Police officers attending an incident should acknowledge and respond to children and young people’s immediate needs for information and explanation DVRIM identifies child who summons help-999 calls or discloses DV as at a ‘heightened risk’ of suffering an adverse reaction from abusive father/father figure and/or from mother for seeking help. Section 47 required.- may require urgent ‘out of hours response’ Social Care need to find out if child ‘is worried’ about ‘adverse reaction’ from either abusive father/father figure or mother and assess ‘heightened risk’ to child-monitor/support-no early case closure even if mother’s separates

6 NPSCC RESEARCH: Responding to Key Findings
87% of incidents took place at home Just over 50% involved ex-partners Children present in just under 80% of incidents Nearly a third of children involved under 3 61% of children witnessed the incident directly DVRIM: age of child as a vulnerability factor- Child under 12 months - section 47 inquiry Child under 7 or child with special needs increases threshold level DVRIM: child who directly witnesses requires section 17 & may be ‘at risk of significant harm’. Child who directly intervenes needs a section 47 response (London DV procedures: Section 9.3)

7 Responding to Key Findings
Children and young people need support with contact arrangements ‘Separation Violence’ a key finding often occurring in the context of Contact/Access Access to children and questions about the care of children were contributing to domestic violence incidents. DVRIM identifies child contact and separation violence, breach of protective and contact orders as requiring a Social Care intervention –Section 17 & 47 London DV procedures Section 15 – Contact (LA children’s social care, specialist agencies and CAFCASS)

8 Responding to Key Findings
Variation was found in the amount of information included as standard in notifications sent to children’s social services. Information omitted meant that the full extent of children’s involvement in an incident was not conveyed to children’s social services DVRIM acts as an ‘Interagency communication tool’. The implementation of the London’s DV procedures using DVRIM, works alongside the DASH-MARAC risk assessment and supports the police in the collection of information relating to the child at the time of the DV. In London and N. Ireland the DASH-MARAC assessment includes an additional 3 child-focused questions ( London DV procedures: Section 10) Example: Police sticker on 124D to prompt information gathering re. child

9 Practice Example: DVRIM-Barnet Police-Sticker for 124D to encourage child-focused information collection by police at time of incident Remember your Every Child Matters Responsibilities Duration of the incident Demeanour of the children Did the children witness or intervene? MERLIN this

10 Responding to Key Findings
Risk assessment tools developed by the police to filter and route notifications to Social Care are focused on the risks to victims rather than children. Since only five per cent of notifications were found to trigger a service from children’s social services, the limited accuracy of such tools may be problematic. DVRIM ensures ‘risk identification’ for child in DV situation DVRIM incorporates the adult-focused risk factors in a parallel process alongside child-focused risk factors, vulnerabilities and protective factors in the child’s situation. DVRIM DOES NOT ENCOURAGE LETTERS AS A SUPPORTIVE RESPONSE

11 Responding to Key Findings
Inter-agency approaches to filtering notifications DVRIM joins up adult-child domestic violence risk assessment processes DVRIM provides a ‘common multi-agency child focused risk identification tool’. DVRIM provides a means to support ‘interagency communication’ about risks and interventions concerning children/young people who are ‘in need’ and could be ‘at risk of significant harm’ from domestic violence. Example; Coventry LSCB, Coventry Police (child abuse team) and Social Care jointly screen all domestic violence referrals to police where children are members of the household using DVRIM

12 Responding to Key Findings
Police officers and social workers were positive about the work of specialist domestic violence services and noted that they relieved demands on their services. While families were directed to these services for support, there was little evidence of communication and collaboration between social workers undertaking assessments and staff in these agencies DVRIM provides a consistent framework which supports interagency risk assessment and the sharing of information relating to the risks to both children and their mothers. It encourages joint-working and supports interagency decision-making processes - ie CAF, family support plans, child protection plans, MARAC, safety planning, actively seeks engagement with abusive fathers/father figures

13 Responding to Key Findings
Not all incidents of domestic violence need to be referred to children’s social services DVRIM support the use of CAF as a first-line ‘needs assessment’ for children who experience domestic violence Supportive services undertaking CAF assessments need to refer to LSCB Safeguarding procedures using Domestic Violence Risk Identification Matrix (DVRIM) to help determine the risk level to child and to determine intervention Notifications to Social Care of CAF’ s where DV is a concern/need of the child - to be ‘logged’ with Social Care Role of CAF coordinator could support this process and ‘Contact Point’ London DV procedures: Section 9.4

14 Responding to Key Findings
Stop-start patterns of intervention should be avoided, and children’s social services DVRIM supports the use of CAF as a means of identifying children and young people as having ‘additional needs’. The LSCB DV procedures directs Social Care staff where the threshold of Section 17 is not met to ensure a CAF is completed on child- CAF coordinator supports this process ensuring the child receives a supportive service Example: Findings from London pilots of DVRIM supports this process i.e. Barnet, Hammersmith & Fulham, Bromley Coventry,, Wigan

15 Responding to Key Findings
Where families did receive interventions, it was likely to be at the safeguarding, rather than family support, level DVRIM within the London procedures will direct Social Care to either assess child ‘in need’ or ‘at risk of significant harm’ under sections 17 or 47 and directs Social Care to ensure CAF by lead agency is completed if threshold for section 17 is not met ( scale 2) London DV procedures Sections & 9.4.3

16 Responding to Key Findings
Social workers were less likely to engage directly with male perpetrators Children’s social workers should be provided with training, supervision and support aimed at increasing skills and confidence in working with abusive men. Barnardo’s DV risk assessment model includes a protocol for conducting an initial interview with abuser and the special domestic violence core assessment is undertaken with perpetrator and the victim. London DV procedures ensures engagement with male abusers. London Procedures: Sections 4-4, 5-2, 7-2, 17-1, & appendix 10

17 DVRIM-New risk factors that combine to create “Assessment Paralysis”
       Abuser's use of avoidance/resistance to engage in services increases risks to children. Abuser and/or victim's engagement with social care has an element of 'disguised compliance' e.g. sporadic, passive or desultory compliance, superficial cooperation, acceptance of concerns but not engaging in work to effect change/selective engagement, Use of distractive behaviours to disrupt professional interventions, adult deceitfulness relating to current family plans/circumstances, deliberate deception. Frequent moves by family contributes to difficulties in professional intervention/children ‘off the radar’

18 A Biennial Analysis of Serious Case Reviews 2003-05 & 2005-07 Assessment paralysis:
Abuser's and/or victim's misuse of complaint's procedures to disrupt professional interventions- increases risks for children Abuser/victim may demand change of worker Abuser's use of threatening aggressive behaviour/pattern of hostility towards supportive professionals intimidates staff -staff cannot effectively challenge concerns and work constructively with family  No unified professional intervention plan exists- increases risk for children Professional collusion or conflict over problem definition-increases risks for children –professional is overwhelmed and/or lack of worker’s self confidence makes it difficult to challenge the opinions of other multi-agency professionals

19 Developments of DVRIM:
This tool is under constant review by Barnardo's and London Safeguarding Board-emerging risk factors from domestic violence homicides reviews, serious case reviews and case tracking within Social Care Being implemented with a number of London borough’s and in Wigan, Norfolk, Coventry, Exeter, Scotland In Coventry Police Child Abuse Units jointly screen with Social Care all domestic violence referrals where children are in the household using DVRIM Working with the MARAC- children need safety planning intervention –use of Barnardo's Safety planning tool which can be used by social work staff DVRIM as a ‘Supervision tool’ for health and social care staff for safeguarding standard

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

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

22 Children’s Safety Steps
Keeping myself safe by staying ‘out of dad and mum’s fights-when dad is hurting mum

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