Risk and Children

I just wanted to give you a quick update on our work in relation to risk and children.  We know from numerous serious case reviews when a child is killed or seriously harmed, that all too often the practitioners working with the parent fail to see the risks to the child, particularly in families with domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health problems.  We know from Safety in Numbers the extent of risk that children living with domestic abuse face – 40% lived with conflict around contact, nearly a quarter had direct threats and over 10% had suffered threats to kill.

CAADA is trying to address this in two ways.  One is via our new CPD module ‘Safeguarding Children Living with Domestic Abuse’ and the second is to explore how we can give practitioners some practical tools and guidance to highlight risks to children – not just from domestic abuse – but more widely with substance misuse, mental health and homelessness.  Last week we hosted a preliminary meeting with several outside agencies representing substance misuse, safeguarding, and domestic abuse services.  I am optimistic that we can create something useful – not a risk tool in the sense of the CAADA risk identification checklist, but rather a set of questions that reminds practitioners that: ‘their client is also a parent’ – something which we can all too easily ignore.  I will keep you posted as the work develops.  It goes without saying, this is critically important.

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