Archive for November 9th, 2013

November 9, 2013

Blog Posts….like buses, they come in pairs…please read this one!

I wrote in July about our first MARAC Scrutiny Panel, where we looked at how to improve our response to perpetrators at MARAC.  At the time I promised to flag when we produced our guidance on this.  Somehow this managed to slip off the list…but never too late.

We have produced a 2 page summary on MARAC and Perpetrators which you can access at  http://www.caada.org.uk/documents/Managing_Perpetrators.pdf

Obviously I am biassed, but I do think that this is really practical and really important.  Somewhere, in our desire to ensure that victims of abuse are supported at MARAC, we have sometimes lost sight of the importance of managing the perpetrators’ behaviour.  Without this we won’t be successful in safeguarding either the adult or children who are suffering the impacts of domestic abuse.  So if you are part of your local MARAC and there is one thing that you read this week, please make it this briefing.  And if this is not your area of responsibility, please highlight it to your local MARAC team – especially the Chair.  Thank you.

November 9, 2013

Making the Links….DV and Safeguarding

I am slightly appalled that my ‘weekly’ blog has slipped to a ‘6 weekly’ event but won’t make excuses – rather just try and get started again.

Various things came together this week about our work which I just wanted to capture here.  In general, following a number of serious case reviews (Daniel Pelka, Baby T and others), it seems like we still can’t take for granted that the two issues of domestic abuse and risk to children will be systematically linked in practice.  We are really clear that whenever there is domestic abuse identified, we need to look for risk to children – whatever the level of risk to the mother.  Research by my former colleague Emma Howarth, showed that the risk of harm to children is not neatly correlated with the risk to the parent, and that children living with ‘standard’ risk domestic abuse can still be very vulnerable to physical and psychological harm.

So what were the things that I would like to highlight here:

1. It is all about the quality of implementation – 1: the Baby T Serious Case Review highlighted ‘poor implementation of the Hackney model’ and we frequently see variable implementation of the MARAC model, when agency representatives change or funding is cut.  If in doubt about what fidelity to the model looks like for the IDVA-MARAC approach, please do look at the resources on our website, talk to our team or contact our help desk.  We hope that everything we recommend is practical and do-able.

2. It is all about the quality of Implementation -2: a call to Commissioners: there are clear, independently verified, standards for risk led services through our Leading Lights programme and a robust outcomes measurement service that we provide through our Insights Programme.  These two tools can give you confidence that the funding you are making in this area is effective, and that the services provided meet the standards achieved in other regions.  Our MARAC team are working across all MARACs to support them in ensuring that local implementation stays faithful to the evaluated model.

3. The smallest possible thing to make the biggest possible difference: I was really struck by the simplicity and potential impact of Operation Encompass, where schools are notified in the morning when there has been a police call out for domestic abuse.  It would be great to hear from areas who are using this – it sounds a terrific idea.  Presumably this could extend to children’s centres too to cover younger children?

Lastly, I just hope – as I am sure all of you do too – that this is the ‘tipping point’ when DV and safeguarding stop being so siloed and that we do all make those links.