Domestic Abuse for Safeguarding Professionals

Consisting of 4 modules, you will find something proportionate to your level of responsibility!

Developed in partnership with Mayday Domestic Abuse Services, the programme includes a range of specialist training options. It is designed specifically for safeguarding professionals, domestic abuse practitioners and other agencies with a duty to report safeguarding concerns.

The programme is unique because it reflects our understanding, knowledge and expertise gained from working on the frontline of child protection. Our experience and understanding lay the foundation for our training programmes.

In this programme, participants can progress through 4 modules (from introductory to advance). We have designed the programme to be flexible for practitioners with existing experience and knowledge.

All our programmes use real case studies from working with children and their families. The understanding practitioners glean will help them progress in their career with renewed understanding of how best to support and protect children.

Module 1: Domestic Abuse Awareness

Module 1 is a half-day introductory awareness course to ensure everyone who comes into contact with families has sufficient domestic abuse knowledge to feel confident about taking action to safeguard child and adult victims.

Target Audience

Safeguarding is everyone’s business”, so this training is for staff and volunteers who have contact with the public in different settings.

Learning Objectives

By attending this half-day introductory programme, you should be able to:

  • Acquire a raised awareness of the existing evidence base around domestic abuse
  • Describe different forms of domestic abuse in or outside of intimate relationships
  • Understand the devastating impact of domestic abuse on children and their families, particularly on children’s outcomes
  • Achieve a better understanding of the indicators of domestic abuse, harassment and stalking, forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) and barriers to disclosure
  • Develop insight into the “invisible nature and hidden harm” of domestic abuse, e.g. coercive or controlling behaviours and threats to harm
  • Define and implement the child protection and adult safeguarding steps to report concerns.

Module 2: Domestic Abuse Awareness & Skills to Respond

This is a one-day enhanced awareness training for staff in an advice or support role and who are familiar with the contents of module 1. It is for working and responding appropriately and safely with children and families experiencing domestic abuse.

Target Audience

We designed this programme specifically for professionals who have direct contact with families. In this we include police officers, doctors, health visitors, school nurses, child and adolescent mental health workers, family workers, early help workers, youth workers, housing officers, school safeguarding leads, other health and education professionals.

Learning Objectives

By attending this one-day introductory programme, you should be able to:

  • Acquire a heightened awareness of the prevalence of domestic abuse, learnings from domestic homicides and serious case reviews
  • Understand the legal framework and duties to child and adult victims
  • Discover the many forms of domestic abuse and recognise the signs and symptoms
  • Learn about the entrapment theory
  • Recognise contributing factors (the toxic trio of harm)
  • Understand the negative impact on child outcomes and effects on families.
  • Acquire an improved understanding of how to get the “child’s voice” and understand their lived experiences
  • Consider diversity and cultural issues (including young parents, male/female experiences, same-sex parents/couples, minority communities, age, disability etc.)
  • Learn about consent and information sharing, your responsibilities and the role of others
  • Learn how to use the Recognise/Respond/Refer model
  • Become familiar with the risk indicator DASH as a checklist to support your decision
  • Improve interviewing skills – Case Study to help participants to ask meaningful questions about domestic abuse using sensitivity, empathy and culturally appropriate techniques

Module 3: Enhanced Domestic Abuse for Children’s Services Frontline Practitioners

Our most intense module is a two-day programme is for professionals to acquire knowledge and enhance skills to work with children and families. It is a ‘deep dive’ child-centred programme that builds a more profound understanding of domestic abuse, how trauma and intersectionality concerns affect a person’s experience of domestic abuse and their capacity to change.

Target Audience

We have aimed this module at children’s social workers and professionals from partner agencies partners working on known domestic abuse cases and possibly with other factors. Professionals may include family/support workers, police officers and support staff, health professionals and support staff, teachers and school staff, youth offending team personnel, and rehabilitation and probation services.

Learning Objectives

By attending this two-day enhanced programme, you should be able to:

  • Practice the guiding principles for working with families experiencing domestic abuse
  • Recognise your personal biases and judgments that you bring to your interactions and learn strategies to mitigate these
  • Enhance understanding of the laws that are relevant to domestic abuse and protecting children and adults
  • Enhance your understanding of coercive control and how to w to recognise the signs
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of and implement a trauma-informed approach to assessing parenting capacity in domestic abuse cases
  • Acquire sufficient knowledge to understand the interplay between personality disorders and domestic abuse
  • Fully understand and consider intersectionality issues in the context of parenting capacity assessments
  • Acquire knowledge about the interplay between parental alienation and domestic abuse
  • Understand a family’s cultural and religious background and their impact when assessing and managing risks
  • Become familiar with risk assessment tools and how to implement
  • Become familiar with tools to work with adults
  • Become familiar with tools to capture the “child’s voice” to inform a child-centred approach when working the victims and perpetrator

Module 4: Domestic Abuse for Case Managers and Supervisors

Module 4 combines the critical tasks of effective case management, supervision and evaluation. Domestic abuse cases can be complex, challenging and stressful to manage. Case management and supervision activities play a critical role in determining the quality and consistency of practice, interventions and outcomes in those cases involving domestic abuse.

Target Audience

The audience for this programme is those with supervisory responsibilities. It may include team managers, deputy team managers, supervisors or advanced practitioners who supervise staff or manage cases where domestic abuse is a factor.

Learning Objectives

By attending this one-day programme, you should be able to:

  • Enhance your knowledge of effective case management practices
  • Use quality case management practices to improve decision-making, service provision and improve child and family outcomes.
  • Enhance understanding of the role of the supervisor in supporting case worker’s safety and well-being.
  • Use of case management practice and supervision to evaluate performance, intervention and outcomes
  • Develop an understanding of the core competencies necessary to manage complex domestic abuse cases
  • Manage case audits to evidence a child-centred and ensure routine consideration of intersectionality issues.
  • Use the theory of change model to evaluate or evidence outcomes of individual cases – short, medium and longer-term in preparation for deep-dive inspections.

We recommend that commissioners consider a classroom-based learning experience for this programme. It provides a better learning experience as it brings colleagues together to experience hands-on- practice in a safe environment. The online courses have the same content, but the experience will differ, especially when using case studies and practising skills.