Lewisham Children & Family Centre

Prevent

Protect

Repair

Prevent-Protect-Repair Evaluation Phase 2 – April 2020 to March 2021

 

1 IN 3 WOMEN

EXPERIENCE

DOMESTIC ABUSE IN THEIR LIFETIME

Lewisham Prevent-Protect-Repair project is a multi-agency partnership building on and developing the existing domestic abuse response in the borough with particular focus on developing support for children who have experienced domestic abuse. The initiative aims to scale up existing provision through increasing capacity and reach, whilst identifying and addressing gaps in support. Partnership is a key element both strategically and operationally in order to develop a holistic and sustainable multi-agency approach across the borough.
 
This is a snapshot of Phase 2 of the Lewisham Prevent-Protect-Repair initiative funded by the Home Office Children Affected by
Domestic Abuse funding (CADA). The report covers the period April 2020 to March 2021. The full report and executive summary can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. 

SUPPORTING STAFF

SUPPORTING CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

RAISING AWARENESS

Beneficiaries

Phase 1

Phase 2

Total

noun_Child_1439820
noun_parent_687562
noun_Family_686641

Children Supported

0

Parents/Carers Supported

0

Total Individuals

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

6,591 page views of the Professionals’ Portal and Timekeeper video

‘This programme had really helped me build my confidence. I was so down and I had nowhere to go. I now know who I am and how to take care of myself and care for my kids’ 

Freedom Programme Parent

CODA (Children Overcoming Domestic Abuse) Programme

The CODA programme is a twelve-week therapeutic programme for women and children who have experienced domestic abuse. It seeks to enable the recovery process and aims to:

  • Validate the children’s experiences.
  • Reduce the self-blame that is commonly associated with children experiencing abuse.
  • Develop a child-appropriate safety plan.
  • Manage appropriate and inappropriate expressions of emotion.
  • Enhance the mother-child relationship.
  • Enable both the mother and child to heal together.
COVID-19 restrictions meant that services had to be moved online. A digital offer was developed by EYA Lewisham Children and Family Centres alongside AVA – to ensure fidelity to the CODA programme and enable standardisation across the multi-agency delivery model. This included scrutinising each session and adapting every activity to ensure it translated effectively to online delivery, whilst replicating the group experience. Particular care was taken to ensure the potentially triggering nature of the sensitive material covered could be done safely online. 
 
4 programmes were delivered in Phase 2, 2 programmes were a mix of face to face and virtual delivery – these were paused when COVID-19 lockdowns were imposed in March 2020 and were subsequently completed online. There were also 3 x 1:1 programmes delivered. 20 children and 20 mothers benefited.

CODA Programme Feedback from Children and Parents

CODA Group Programme
Voice of the Child

CODA Programme One to One
Voice of the Child

CODA Programme
Voice of the Parent

‘I resolved my fears and feelings. I’m getting better. There’s a new chapter in my life and it’s going to be a better life’. 

CODA Programme Child

Freedom Programme

The Freedom Programme is for women who are experiencing or surviving domestic abuse. It examines the roles played by attitudes and beliefs on the actions of abuser and the responses of victims and survivors.

  • To help women understand the beliefs held by abusive men and to recognise which of these beliefs they have shared.
  • To illustrate the effects of domestic abuse on children.
  • To assist women to recognise potential future abusers.
  • To help women gain self-esteem and the confidence to improve the quality of their lives.
  • To introduce women to other women who share similar experiences. 

The programme helps women to make sense of and understand what has happened to them, to understand how their children are affected by being exposed to this kind of abuse and how their lives are improved when the abuse is removed. 

The Freedom Programme is usually delivered face to face in small groups. Following COVID-19 lockdowns in March 2020 it was not possible to continue to do this. The two programmes running were paused and facilitators checked in weekly with participants whilst protocols and arrangements were made to deliver the programme virtually. From October 2020 all programmes have been delivered remotely, with robust processes to maintain privacy and safety of participants.
 
There is a two-pronged evaluation approach, a pre and post programme questionnaire via survey monkey, plus semi-formal group interviews with the women at the end of their course to gather feedback about their experience of the programme and their insights into how the programme has benefited them and their families.
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‘My son is happier and more confident. He seems to be more happy with himself and he seems to be less quick to be scared.

Freedom Programme Parent

Freedom Programme Parent Feedback

Professionals’ Portal

Connecting Professionals

Sharing Information

Expertise and Advice

Raising Skills and Awareness

Supporting Families

The online portal is located within the Lewisham Children and Family Centres website. Building the portal has supported the remobilisation phase of Lewisham’s Prevent-Protect-Repair partnership following the challenges of COVID-19 and the effect on delivery. It has created the necessary infrastructure to enable professionals to have a single point of access to Domestic Abuse information, advice and support in Lewisham and to connect with subsequent funding streams and programmes, for example Children’s Social Care.

The portal provides quick and easy access for practitioners to get help for the families they work with and to access support in their role. This includes information about the services and programmes available and how to access them, resources, awareness raising tools including access to the Inner Eye film for training and engagement, programme schedules and a simple route to refer into training programs and professionals surgeries.

4 surgeries were delivered in Phase 2. 8 social work professionals attended and 18 families including 25 children were submitted (discussed). Feedback from the facilitator describes the complexities of issues faced by the professionals in supporting families attending. The professionals feedback shows that the surgeries were valued, and they helped the professionals confidence and knowledge in supporting the families they submitted. All professionals would recommend the surgeries to a colleague.

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The Timekeeper

The Timekeeper video is produced by Inner Eye productions. It was commissioned by the PPR partnership and is used to raise awareness about the serious impact that domestic abuse can have on children and families. It adds to the set of resources that are used as part of the PPR programme. to engage and support professionals and community members to understand and respond in an effective way.
 
Based on real experience of residents of Lewisham, the film tackles very sensitive issues including physical abuse and coercive control. It highlights that abuse can be subtle and complex, and encourages discussion and challenges understanding of coercive control and the impact that it can have on children.
 
Due to pandemic restrictions the film’s premiere was screened online in September 2020, followed by a question and answer session to a panel of PPR professionals. There were 63 Lewisham professionals attending the online premiere. The film has been made widely available as a training and awareness raising tool and has been viewed by individuals and groups throughout the pandemic.

2,500 Views

The Athena Service

The Athena service – Lewisham’s dedicated domestic abuse crisis service, run by Refuge, provides confidential, non-judgmental support to people living in the London Borough of Lewisham who are experiencing gender-based violence. The Athena Service accepted 601 clients to their community based services in 2019/20 with 865 children and young people impacted; 67% of these were children under 11 years old. Demand continued to rise through the pandemic placing enormous strain on services and requiring services to adapt to significant challenges facing families and staff.
 
CADA funding through Lewisham Prevent-Protect-Repair partnership enabled Athena to employ 2 additional full time Domestic Abuse Workers in the phase 1: a Community Outreach Worker and an Early Intervention Worker and continued to support an Early Intervention Worker through Phase 2. Phase 2 also saw the development of online Technology Abuse Awareness training for practitioners and parents.

The role of the Early Intervention Worker is to work directly with women and children and young people in the community who are experiencing domestic abuse and to intervene early to avoid problems escalating. This includes raising awareness of what abuse is and what a healthy relationship looks like and doesn’t look like, raising awareness of the support available and how to access it. As well as working with clients, the Early Intervention Worker delivers engagement events with professionals in education, health and political services using the Inner Eye awareness raising film commissioned through the partnership.

Feedback on Closure

  • 100% of the young girls supported by an Early Intervention Worker (EIW) reported feeling much safer
  • 100% of the young girls supported by the EIW reported now feeling not at all frightened. 
  • 92.3% said that the quality of their life improved 
  • 100% said that they felt confident in knowing how to access help

Tech Abuse Training

During the second phase of funding Athena developed a very successful online Technology Abuse workshop for practitioners and parents to keep children and young people safe on the internet. Going forward Athena are looking to expand this to different cohorts; for example at delivering the training to children and young people who have completed the CODA programme, and a planned roll out of school specific Tech Abuse workshops.

”I personally enjoyed learning about the meaning of emojis used by our young people. I was a bit shocked, though. Thank you for educating me’

‘Really useful, my year 5 daughter just popped up to find out if she can have Tik Tok now and it was great to be able to have an informed conversation with her’

‘Thank you for teaching us how to keep our children (and ourselves) safe through the various social media apps. There’s a lot that I’ve learnt here today. Thanks again’

Caring Dads

Caring Dads is a 17-week group intervention programme for men who have abused, neglected or exposed their children to domestic abuse. Delivered by ‘Future Men’ the programme is for fathers who have neglected, abused or exposed their children to Domestic Abuse. 

The core principle of the Caring Dads programme is to help keep women and children safer by holding fathers to account. Whilst at the same time the programme recognises the importance of fathers: research shows that when fathers are positively involved, children benefit cognitively, emotionally, socially, and developmentally. 

10 fathers started the programme and attended the first 10 sessions before a pause in delivery due to the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. The programme was able to resume in November 2020 with 4 fathers completing the remaining 7 sessions and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

100% Reported

  • Satisfaction with Caring Dads course

  • Facilitators consistently focused on what was best for my child

  • Facilitators were able to help set goals to work on
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‘The PPR partnership has created a constructive platform for collaboration across agencies, practitioners and stakeholders. Creating a space to appropriately challenge each other around perceptions e.g. about the need for support for men; Working together to meet needs effectively underpinned by a good understanding of each other’s specialism and really listening to each other and understanding each others contribution to the overall aims of Prevent-Protect-Repair’

Future Men practitioner

Healthy Relationships

The ‘Healthy Relationship Programme (HRP) – ‘Removing Barriers to Learning’ is a national early intervention, behavioural change programme, designed and delivered by CSUK Coaching. Part of the Protect strand, the programme helps vulnerable young people aged 11 to 18 build their resilience, self-esteem and confidence. Supporting young people to build successful relationships and avoid harmful relationships; recognising passive, assertive and aggressive behaviour and identifying how best to communicate in any given situation.

The first HRP cohort started in a Lewisham secondary school in January 2020, with 19 participants; 9 girls and 10 boys in year 7 (age 11 or 12). 42% of the cohort had at least 1 indicator of Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE), with 21% having 3 or more.

The Healthy Relationship Programme was adaptable and delivered virtually during the pandemic, but there were significant challenges to rolling out this programme from an operational and practical perspective. Schools are a central ingredient of the programme and it requires a significant role from school professionals – who were also facing an incredibly challenging environment – to support a virtual model and provide safe spaces for children to access this programme. 

 

The Deborah Ubee Trust

The Deborah Ubee Trust aims to promote emotional wellbeing and raise awareness of emotional health through:
 
  • Providing a range of therapeutic services and holistic treatments
  • Increasing the amount of therapy available to people who need support
  • Promoting good practice around therapeutic intervention
  • Providing continuing professional development to practitioners.
  • Contributing to the development of new therapists by offering support and training to placement counsellors
DUT has a dedicated centre on the border of Greenwich and Lewisham with nine purpose-designed counselling rooms – including a play-therapy room and space for dance and movement therapy. 

As part of the Repair strand of the project, Deborah Ubee Trust (DUT) established a bespoke therapeutic offer for children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse, incorporating Drama, Play, Art and Movement Therapies. The support is child led and 20 weeks of therapeutic support is offered to each young person. This can be extended where necessary. The intervention is offered at the DUT organisation on the border of Deptford /Greenwich and also in Children’s Centre venues in Evelyn and Bellingham where they have set up Art & Play therapy spaces.

17 children and young people began therapeutic support from January 2020. This was interrupted and put on hold in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 lockdown, as it was inappropriate to continue therapy virtually. This was partly because of the age of the children and also due to the nature of Play/Art/Drama and Movement therapies offered. However, therapists continued to support families via fortnightly check in calls with the mother to ensure families have their needs met as far as possible. This entailed developing a close working relationship with EYA Children’s Centre Manager who provided support and assistance to DUT during this time.
‘’Our Family really appreciate the therapy Debbie Ubee Trust offered our child. He enjoys the play therapy and especially the drawing aspect of it. It helped him to have the courage to express his feelings which he really struggled with before, now he is very vocal and can draw or write down these feelings. As a family we are so grateful and so does our child. IN HIS WORDS, ‘Mom I will miss my therapy sessions.’
Mother

‘It helped him to have the courage to express his feelings which he really struggled with before, now he is very vocal and can draw or write down these feelings. As a family we are so grateful and so does our child. In his own words, MOM I WILL MISS MY THERAPY SESSIONS’

Parent of child attending sessions

My son really valued his time with his therapist. Some quotes from him:
“C…. is the playiest adult ever”
“I wish I could go back and play more right now”
“C…. is the gentlest adult ever”

Parent of child attending sessions

Conclusion

A significant amount has been achieved in the year by the Prevent-Protect-Repair partnership despite the impact and challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions have had an unprecedented effect on all aspects of programme delivery and interventions. Exacerbated by children and families facing multi vulnerabilities in addition to domestic abuse. This challenge and response runs throughout the report.

The Prevent-Protect-Repair partnership has effectively responded to these challenges, mobilising resources and the workforce across the piece, planning strategically and ensuring the needs of families are met.

Digitalising the programmes and providing continuity of care to families through such a vulnerable time has been critical.

There is clear evidence of positive impact on children and families of the interventions and of the partnership approach.

The partnership ‘glue’ developed through phase 1 ensured a coherent web of online services and activities across the borough. Partners shared their expertise, resources, and local knowledge; highlighting the needs of children and families, identifying and plugging gaps in provision. Alongside this partners have reconfigured interventions online where possible. The crisis nature of the pandemic means this has been a huge undertaking. Whilst there is hope that we are at the tail end of COVID-19 restrictions, considerable uncertainty remains. However, the PPR partnership crisis response has put strategic and operational processes in place to respond to future challenges.

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