Case Study

Case Study

A referral 5 years earlier to children’s services reported domestic violence in the home where there were 4 young children. The mother was under the influence of illegal substances and had hit the father with a bottle in the head causing a cut. The father reported being a victim of domestic violence but later retracted the allegation. There was no further action from Children’s Services.

2019 – A referral to children’s services regarding the mother picking up the children from school appearing disorientated.

Initially, the father was reluctant to meet the social worker until the children were subject to child protection plans. During the meeting, the social worker used specific interview techniques to elicit information from the father. He confirmed that he was a victim of domestic abuse but was too worried about not being believed.

Our Approach

The children were subject to Child Protection (CP) plans, and within the first 3 months, a member of Mayday’s team was commissioned to provide discreet 1-to-1 support over 6 sessions in which he revealed a volatile 10-year relationship. The father explained his experiences which our worker identified as Gaslighting. She explained he was experiencing cognitive dissonance and how this was impacting on his ability to safeguard himself and his children.

Only 4 weeks after the 3-month Review Child Protection Conference (RCPC), a robust safety plan was put in place to protect the children and their father due to a combination of presenting risks. We estimated that this father was at the 4th stage of the 8-stage pattern, which, according to Criminologist, Dr Jane Monckton Smith, can lead from domestic abuse to death.

In our work, we also utilised the Family Group Conference (FGC) process to bring together a network of safe people (family and friends) and trained them about the signs of and how to support victims of Coercive Control.

With support from our worker, the father attended the police station and made a formal disclosure including recordings of threats by the mother to kill him. The Police immediately arrested the mother and applied for a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) covering 28 days to protect him. Within the 28 days, the father made an application to the Court or and was granted a Non-Molestation Order for 12 months. The Judge hearing the application decided to include all of the children in the Order.

The ‘safety plan’ for the father and the children was taken into account in the Judge’s decision.

By empowering the father with our specialist knowledge prevented this case from going to Public Law Outline (PLO). Not only did this prevent significant expenditure but it resulted in the children being safeguarded from harm.