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Barnardos Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Model.

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Presentation on theme: "Barnardos Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Model."— Presentation transcript:


2 Barnardos Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Model.
Presenter: Vivienne Springer - Barnardos LEaSE Tel:

3 of Safeguarding children.
Purpose of the Project To roll out across London (initially) this model; monitor and evaluate its effectiveness in the practice of Safeguarding children.

4 Purpose of the presentation
To introduce the Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Model.

5 Anticipated Outcomes Too have introduced all to the DV Risk Identification Matrix which is the key risk assessment tool contained in the new LSCB Procedures ‘Safeguarding Children Abused through Domestic Violence’; and Gentle comparison of this tool to your current DV risk assessment tool.


7 A Working Definition of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is defined by the Home Office as: ‘Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality‘. The main characteristic of domestic violence is that the behaviour is intentional and is calculated to exercise power and control within a relationship. Domestic violence occurs across society regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth and geography.  

8 Putting in Context: Key Influencing Documents
Every Child Matters (2004) Every Child Matters – HM Government Information Sharing Guidance (October 2008) Government Guidance: Safeguarding Children – A summary of the joint Chief Inspectors’ Report on Arrangements to Safeguard Children (govt.2006a) Responding to Domestic Abuse – A handbook for health Professionals (DOH 2005) London Safeguarding Board Procedures: Safeguarding Children Abused through Domestic Abuse

9 Key facts about domestic violence (See appendix 3 in LSCB Procedures)

10 Some facts 2 women are murdered every week at the hands of their partner; It is estimated that 1 in 4 women experience DV during their lifetime; Up to 75% cases subject of a Child Protection Plan involved DV; Women are at greatest risk of being killed at the point of separation. 76% of DV homicide occurs after separation; 30% of DV begins or escalates during pregnancy; and Women in BMER communities are more vulnerable.

DV contributory factor in 56% cases reviewed; Services frequently failed children and their mothers; Failure to share information; Lack of holistic approach; Over optimism, and an absence of clear risk focus; and Lack of clear framework for inter-agency working in area of DV.

12 Domestic Violence and Children
The issue of children living with domestic violence is now recognised as a matter for concern in its own right by both government and key children’s services agencies. The link between child physical abuse and domestic violence is high, with estimates ranging between 30% to 66% depending upon the study. In 2002, nearly three quarters of children subject of a child protection plan) lived in households where domestic violence occurs. All the five key outcomes for children identified in Every Child Matters can be adversely affected for a child living with domestic violence and abuse – the impact on every aspect of a child’s life. The impact of domestic violence and abuse on an individual child will vary according to the child’s resilience and the strengths and weaknesses of their particular circumstances. Safeguarding Children Abused through Domestic Violence March 2008

13 Every Child Matters – Framework for Assessment –Domestic Abuse impacts on at least 80 % of factors in assessing child’s developmental needs, parenting capacity and family and environmental factors Health Basic care Education Ensuring Safety Behavioural needs Emotional & Emotional Warmth The Child 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 Family’s Social Integration Income Wider Family Family History & Functioning Employment Housing

14 BMER groups 65% of children subject to serious case reviews were from a Minority Ethnic community (Safeguarding Children Review of London case reviews 2007) 60.6% of domestic violence homicides during were BMER women. Of the 33 homicides 27 were female and out of these 20 were from BMER communities. (Metropolitan Police , Operation Umbra) Average age of Victim of forced marriages is between yrs. 30% of their cases are minors some as young as 10 yrs old. (Forced Marriage Unit June 2007)

15 What are the barriers for BMER victims
What are the barriers for BMER victims? These barriers can increase victim vulnerability and can be risk factors Uncertain immigration status; No recourse to public funds; Language/literacy barriers; Lack of information regarding rights; Housing issues; Community/faith honour; Cultural issues (ie. FGM, Forced Marriages); Social Exclusion; and Racism Pathway to Justice; Rights of Women 2007

16 Barnardo’s Core Presentation Slide No. 16
Tuesday, 28 March 2017 Problems and Pitfalls in Child Protection. How can we assess the risk to children from Domestic Violence? Key question; Domestic abuse poses a risk to child and child who live in families with domestic abuse occurs is a child in need Key change in the Children’s Act (1989) (2004) and the Adoption and Children’s Act (2002) amended to extend the definition of harm to include ‘impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another’ – particularly in the home, even though they themselves have not been directly assaulted or abused. Domestic abuse directly invokes child protection concerns – Section 47 (applying to children who may be at risk of significant harm) and section 17 (applying to children who may be in need under part lll of Children’s Act (1989) (2004)

17 Problems and Pitfalls in Child Protection
Problems and Pitfalls in Child Protection. How can we assess the risk to children from Domestic Violence ? Pitfall: failing to see domestic abuse as a process – we still tend to respond at an incident level and we see it as an adult problem so we lose focus on it’s impact on child; Research suggests that women usually experience an average of 35 incidents before reporting it to the police. Yearnshire (1997) Problem: not clearly connecting domestic abuse with concerns regarding abusive father/father-figure, parenting capacity/role modelling and impact on mother’s parenting capacity.

18 Problems and Pitfalls in Child Protection
Problems and Pitfalls in Child Protection. How can we assess the risk to children from Domestic Violence? Pitfall: not making ‘strong enough’ connections between domestic abuse with other interacting risk factors – substance misuse; mental health of parents and child; direct physical, emotional and sexual abuse of child; family and environmental factors i.e. neglect, limited parenting capacity; disruptive childhood experiences of parents; Problem: have difficulties with interagency information – sharing regarding domestic abuse;

19 Problems and Pitfalls in Child Protection
Problems and Pitfalls in Child Protection. How can we assess the risk to children from Domestic Abuse? Pitfall: professionals ‘acceptance’ of abuser’s and victim’s minimising of abuse & risks – families who are difficult to engage/initiate change leads to ‘Worker Paralysis’ = increased risk child Pitfall: not having a ‘clear enough' threshold levels of intervention for child who lives with domestic abuse – who is ‘child in need’ requiring CAF


21 Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Model (DVRAM)

22 Background of the model
The Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Model (DVRAM) was developed by Barnardos Northern Ireland and originated from Ontario, Canada. This model has been adapted and developed by Maddie Bell and Joan McGovern from Barnardos Northern Ireland. Implemented with Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland over a 5 year period

23 Background of the model cont…
Model has been piloted with 3 London Boroughs and model is now a key component within London Safeguarding procedure ‘Safeguarding Children Abused through Domestic Violence’. A growing number of Boroughs are now requesting information about implementing the model The Matrix has been designed to work in conjunction with CAF, SPECSS, MARAC and MASRAM

24 The Model’s Aim Aim: To help children and young people stay safe and healthy and to increase the competence of social care professionals and multi-agency staff when dealing with domestic violence through training and mentoring.

25 Model’s Objectives Objectives are:
To assist staff to identify risks to children from domestic violence To assist staff in decisions whether a case presents as in need of a safeguarding response or family support To help staff to make appropriate intervention for children, non-abusing parent and perpetrators To provide a specific domestic violence risk assessment format within initial and core assessments.

26 Model cont… The model includes a system of threshold scales of risk factors, protective factors and potential vulnerabilities to enable the analysis of risks to children from domestic violence. The model promotes safeguarding of children who experience domestic violence and is ideally implemented from a multi-agency perspective.

Protecting children is the first priority; Protecting the non-abusing parent, usually the mother which helps protect the child; Providing supportive resources; Perpetrators are responsible for their abusive behaviour; and Respecting the non-abusing parents’ right to direct their life without placing children at increase risk of further abuse.

28 Tools Multi-agency risk identification matrix
Domestic Violence Initial assessment Domestic Violence Core assessment for social work staff Safety planning interventions with women and children/young people.

Substance misuse; Mental health of abuser/victim; Neglect-parenting capacity; Families who are difficult to engage: (avoidance/resistant, disengage, frequent moves); Personnel vulnerabilities of parents: abusive/disruptive childhood/young parents; Family lifestyle/community issues; and Stresses within family-low income, financial problems, bereavement, illness, disability.

30 Interacting risk factors
Importance of understanding parental psychology; Importance of historical context and a dynamic, analytical assessment (not incident driven); and Consider dynamics of engagement with professionals (resistance, uncooperative).


32 Using the Domestic Violence Risk Identification Matrix

33 Barnardos Multi-agency Domestic Violence Risk Identification Matrix in the LSCG Procedures:
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) 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 use 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)

34 Safeguarding Children Abused through Domestic Violence- LSCB Procedures
Section 9- Assessment and Intervention 9-1-Information gathering and disclosure 9-1-4 Professional becomes aware of DV in family-gain more information Section 9.2 Assessing the risk of harm to a child Section 9.3 Factors which increased vulnerability/risk and appropriate interventions

35 Safeguarding Children Abused through Domestic Violence-LSCB Procedures
Section 9-4 Thresholds, Interventions and CAF Four threshold scales which indicate the degree of seriousness for the child/ren, by a cluster of incidents/ circumstances.

36 Multi-Agency Risk Identification Threshold Scales
Threshold 1- Risk as moderate: Children and families with additional needs – Completion of a CAF – single practitioner offering targeted support Threshold 2 – Risk as Moderate to serious: child/ren and families with additional needs – Completion of a CAF – Lead Practitioner – integrated support. Threshold 3 – Serious – Child/ren and family in need – Section 17 – Initial assessment and family support Threshold 4 – Severe – Child/ren in need of safeguarding: Section 47 enquiry – Core assessment Factors are grouped into three categories Evidence of domestic abuse Risk Factors/Potential vulnerabilities Protective factors

37 Assessing the risk of harm to a child
Based on the information indicating that domestic violence is taking place within a family. The professional/worker should look across the whole matrix and tick the description/s of the incidents / circumstances which correspond best to the information available at the time. This is likely to mean Ticking several descriptions. The scale headings at the top of each section indicate the degree of seriousness of each cluster of incidents / circumstances (e.g. scale 1: moderate risk of harm). (Section 9.2.3) Each scale has categories to assist professionals to think through whether the information is about the: Evidence of domestic violence; Characteristics of the child or situation which are additional ‘risk factors /potential vulnerabilities’; and Characteristics of the child or situation which are ‘protective factors’.

38 London Safeguarding procedures for Risk Identification Matrix
Each threshold scale has categories to assist the professional to think through the information they have: Evidence of domestic violence- this is the most significant determinate of the scales –attention to severity, frequency, pattern and duration of domestic violent 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. .

39 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; Vulnerable history of both women and abuser; Child/ren or mothers from a BMER community; Child/ren being physically and sexually abused; and Child/ren may be perpetrating abuse towards other family members.

40 Establish whether there are any children in the household – and how many. Make an assessment of their needs. Pay attention to age range of children in the family – children under 7 increases risk as they have limited self protection strategies. High percentage of children under 5 are emotionally abused and physically harmed when domestic abuse occurs – serious case reviews research (Barnardos domestic abuse risk assessment M. Bell and J. McGovern 2003)

41 WHY? Young children have none 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

42 MPS Six High Risk Factors: SPECSS (adult focussed risk assessment)
Separation (child contact) - ‘If I can’t have her, then no-one can’ Women are particularly at risk within the first two months of leaving; and incidents can happen as a result of issues around child contact or disputes over custody (URHC, 2001) Pregnancy/new birth- 30% of domestic violence starts or intensifies in pregnancy. Domestic violence is associated with increases in rates of miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth, foetal injury and foetal death (Mezey, 1997). Escalation: the attacks becoming worse and happening more often - Previous domestic violence is the most effective indicator that further domestic violence will occur. Thirsty-five per cent of households have a second incident within five weeks of the first (Walby & Myhill, 2000), and the severity of violence tends to escalate after each incident.

43 SPECSS cont…. Cultural awareness / isolation: Issues which can compound a mother’s difficulties include cultural factors such as bringing shame upon family when reporting incidents, terminating relationships or not consenting to marriage; difficulty speaking / reading English; insecure immigration status; difficulty or reluctance in accessing services (inc. alternative accommodation) and social isolation resulting from same sex relationships, disability, mental health or substance abuse; and not working outside the home. Stalking - Stalking commonly occurs after the relationship, although it can occur before the relationship ends (McFarlane, Campbell, Wilt, Sachs, Ulrich & Xu, 1999). Stalkers are more likely to be violent if they have had an intimate relationship with the woman. Sexual assault - Women who are sexually assaulted are subjected to more serious injury. One in twelve of all reported domestic sexual offenders were considered to be very high risk and potentially dangerous offenders (URHC 2002). "Understanding and Responding to Hate Crime" (URHC)

44 Identification Matrix complementary to good practice in Safeguarding Children
The Matrix identifies the risks to mothers and their children and enhances the use of; SPECSS, MARAC and MASRAM processes. The Matrix supports the process of completing Harrow’s DV risk form, and Safety Planning; and The Matrix supports Harrow’s Domestic Violence model of Intervention.

45 Risk Matrix-Indications for level of Agency Intervention
Section 9-4-1 Scale 1 moderate risk of harm to child/ren identified- complete CAF on each child in household -targeted support from a single agency. If the mother does not consent to the completion of a CAF - this raises the threshold to next level-consult with safeguarding children's adviser and consider discussing the situation with LA social care. CAF planning must include safety planning for the child/ren and mother- section 14. Safety planning. Referr the abuser to an accredited perpetrator programme. Follow up-CAF plans

46 Risk Matrix-Indications for level of Agency Intervention
Scale 2 –moderate to serious risk of harm to child/ren identified- Family support interventions co-ordinated by a lead professional and integrated support from lead agency -domestic violence agency If the mother does not consent to the completion of CAF this raises the threshold-make notification or referral to social care. CAF planning must include safety planning for the child/ren and mother section 14. Safety planning Referr the abuser to accredited perpetrator programme Follow up CAF plans.

47 Risk Matrix-Indications for level of Agency Intervention
Scale 3 assesses the domestic violence as serious- referral into Social Care under Section 17 as protective factors are limited, child/ren may be suffering ‘significant harm’ and may require a section 47 intervention. LA social care initiate safety planning for the child/ren and mother. Consider referring the family to the MARAC process (appendix 6). If not referred to MARAC-LA social care should follow-up to ensure the abuser is engaged with services.

48 Risk Matrix-Indications for level of Agency Intervention
Scale 4 –initiate child protection procedures-severe risk of harm to the child/ren identified Increased concern for child/ren well- being due to contributory risk factors, protection factors are extremely limited –threshold of ‘significant harm is reached’ Referr to social care –section 47- in line with section 6-Referral and Assessment in the London Child Protection Procedures Refer to MARAC Safety planning with child/ren and mother

49 Responding to Domestic Violence where there are no children in the household
Established 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

50 Decision making in Case Planning – Safeguarding & Family Support
Risk identification threshold scales provide a consistent framework to identify and direct an assessment of child’s needs and and rate the level of risk posed to that child. They also identify risk level to the child’s mother. Risk identification threshold scales enabled consistent decisions on case clarification – CAF- targeted support/single practitioner or Lead agency or Referral to Children Services section 47 or section 17. Increased awareness of risks to children and their mothers and informed decision making.

OUTCOMES: 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 MAR,C SPECSS and CAADA assessment.

Benefits for agency and staff : 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. It supports the Governments objective within Every Child Matters Maintains the focus of domestic violence as a main concern within the assessment framework without marginalising any other significant concern

53 High risk factors and domestic violence 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, and on SARA (Spousal Assault Risk Assessment) developed by R.Kropp SARA (Spousal Assault Risk Assessment ) developed by R.Kropp Cardiff police Domestic Abuse Report –Woman’s Initial Risk Assessment-MARAC SPECSS, CUSSCAAM and CAADA MARAC - Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference CAADA - Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse SPECSS - MPS Risk Assessment Model for Domestic Violence Cases

54 References /Influential Research Practice & Consultancy
Child Focussed Risk Factors Evidence based practice – NI and London ( Barnet)- application of risk assessment threshold scales to over 150 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


56 Lifelong Learning UK The Further Education and Teachers’ Qualifications (England) Regulations These regulations require all new teachers appointed from 1 September 2007 to hold or acquire within a specified period of time: A ‘Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector’ (PTLLS) award (or its equivalent), which is a minimum threshold licence to teach for all who have an element of teaching in their role, irrespective of job title.

57 Barnardo’s Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Model - Accredited Trainer for Trainers Programme-
An accredited programme for those responsible for the provision of the DVRAM training. This programme has been developed to meet the needs of both full-time trainers and/or experienced practitioners for whom training is an integral part of their role.

58 Course aim To enable workers who are involved in ‘Safeguarding children who are abused through Domestic Violence’ training to develop skills and knowledge in order to identify, plan, deliver and evaluate training.

59 Course structure Training for trainers consists of a taught programme with a follow-up day and an assessment process route (see below). Alternatively, candidates who do not require accreditation and license may apply to attend the taught programme only. The length of the course is 10 days.

60 Assessment process Candidates for the ‘7303 Level 3 Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector – Barnardo’s DVRAM’ will be required to demonstrate their training competence against a number of standards covering all aspects of the training and the DVRAM .  Candidates are required to prepare and submit a personal portfolio, which will include the assessor’s report on their observed delivery of training. Dates - March 2009 Cost - TBC

61 DVRAM Core Assessment Tool for social care staff undertaking section 17 and section 47 Enquires

62 Importing the Northern Ireland DVRAM Core Assessment model
Barnardo’s Core Presentation Slide No. 62 Tuesday, 28 March 2017 Importing the Northern Ireland DVRAM Core Assessment model

63 Core Assessment Tool within Integrated Children’s System
Section 17: Initial assessment will include domestic abuse triggers under family environmental factors-threshold level 3 Use of Case planning or Strategy Meeting to manage level of risk and decision to implement core assessment & domestic violence nine areas assessment tool- Threshold level 3 cases where direct phyiscal abuse of children is suspected but not confirmed Section 47: Abuse of child confirmed core assessment domestic violence nine areas assessment tool implemented-Threshold level 4

64 Domestic Violence Core Assessment –Nine assessment areas
Barnardo’s Core Presentation Slide No. 64 Tuesday, 28 March 2017 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

65 Safety Interventions with Women and Children/Young People – A Parallel Process

66 Safety Planning- steps with woman
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.

67 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.

68 Safety Planning with Children 5yrs to 12 yrs

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

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


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

73 An a assessment tool Which can support families who experience domestic violence; mothers are made aware of the risks the abuse is posing for her and her children safety planning takes place with the mother and her children in a parallel process during the section 17 section 47 enquiry during these processes social workers are skilled up so they  can easily undertake safety planning with child when they talk to the child during the section 17 & 47 enquiry for multi-agency  staff ; it will support women and their children because staff being more aware of the risks domestic violence pose for children and women and enable more effective decision making , co-ordinated and  supportive interventions.

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