The review raises important questions about how professionals assess the risk of domestic violence and the implications that having no right to remain and no recourse to public funds have on the lives of the families they work with. It also highlights that professionals need to get better at assessing families, including understanding what parents' faith means to them and finding out about other individuals who may be involved with them.
The following learning was identified;
- When women disclose previous domestic abuse, an assessment of future risk is better informed if practitioners obtain details of the nature of the abuse and record the name(s) of the alleged perpetrators
- When parents are no longer with an abusive partner, tenacity and creativity may be required to engage them to prevent repeat victimisation
- People vulnerable to domestic abuse, their families and the practitioners who support them, would benefit from understanding the application and limitations of Clare’s Law and how to make use of it
- There are benefits to practitioners having a better understanding of the implications of “no right to remain” and “no recourse to public funds” on the lives of the families they work with
- It is important for practitioners to have an understanding of the role of specialist staff
- Practitioners need an awareness of local specialist voluntary organisations for families with undocumented status, and the value of involving them 1Murder is an offence under Common Law 2 S5 Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004 Published 5th January 2018 3
- Gaining an understanding of what parent’s faith means to them might enable more holistic and effective support for families. Practitioners do not consistently have the confidence to do this
- Holistic assessments should include asking “who else is involved with you and your family?” and recording this in a form that is accessible and easily updateable, for example using an Ecogram3
- Written plans and Team Around the Child (TAC) meetings for ALL Children in Need, including those only judged to be so by virtue of destitution, would support coordinated and systematic interventions
- When conducting assessments and reassessments of vulnerable families, practitioners may find that including internet and social media checks would enhance and triangulate information given by parents
- Accurate recording of specific details and effective arrangements for transfer of records when families move or involvement transfers between services would better safeguard vulnerable children
See the full report here.