Lewisham Children & Family Centre

Domestic Abuse Portal

Welcome to our Domestic Abuse Professionals’ Portal! Developed as part of our Home Office-funded project, Prevent-Protect-Repair (PPR), here you will find resources and information on domestic abuse services that are being delivered locally within the
London Borough of Lewisham. 

Here, you can also find out more information on the two core domestic abuse programmes that are being delivered – the CODA Programme (Children Overcoming Domestic Abuse – formerly known as the Community Groups Programme) and the Freedom Programme – along with information on how you, as a professional, are able to signpost, refer and support survivors of domestic abuse to access the appropriate support at the right time. 

Prevent, Protect, Repair: Lewisham Children’s Social Care

Lewisham have recently been awarded funding from the What Work’s Centre for Children’s Social Care to run an innovative new programme aimed at building the skills, confidence and capacity of Children’s Social Care and wider partnership to respond to families affected by domestic abuse. The focus of the programme is on children on Child in Need and Child Protection Plans. 

The aim of the PREVENTPROTECTREPAIR programme is to support Children’s Social Care to:  

  • Identify, record and report domestic abuse 
  • Understand the impacts on children and families 
  • Directly offer evidence-based support 
  • Fully consider the role of fathers for risk and protective factors 

The PREVENTPROTECTREPAIR programme will have four elements:  

  1. Training for CSC practitioners and other professionals in domestic abuse interventions, and subsequent co-delivery of interventions to families.  
  2. A Domestic Abuse Advisory Hub of specialist professionals providing advisory ‘surgeries’, including case formulation, advice and safety planning, for CSC practitioners working with families affected by domestic abuse. During the Advisory Hub, you will receive information, advice and support with case planning from specialist professionals, as well as referral on to additional support or programmes as needed.   
  3. New specialist roles working with Children’s Social Care including a Father’s Worker; an Independent Gender Violence Advocate; and a Domestic Abuse Advanced Practitioner. 
  4. Access to specialist external provision including play therapy and healthy relationships support. 
Dad and child playying on tablet

To access these services

for Social Workers

If you are a member

of Education and wish to present

a case at one of our Surgeries

The Timekeeper

This film, the Timekeeper, was developed to raise awareness about the serious impact that domestic abuse can have on children and will be used as a tool to engage and support professionals and community members to understand and respond in an effective way.
Importantly, the film is based on real life experiences of Lewisham residents. 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.

Warning: this film occasionally contains strong language and adult themes (which may be unsuitable for children). The content of this film is based on the testimony and experiences of real people and portrays examples of living within a coercive and controlling relationship and may cause distress.

Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim. Domestic abuse is NOT always physical, it can be verbal, psychological, emotional and financial. Domestic abuse and coercive control is against the law.

If you have been affected by this film or if you are experiencing domestic abuse, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Support is available:

Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247

If you are worried about a child and require more information and advice please call:

NSPCC helpline: 0808 800 5000
If you have a hearing impairment please be aware you can watch the film with subtitles and if you require information or support please access:

SIGNHEALTH – DOMESTIC ABUSE SERVICE: Text or WhatsApp/FaceTime 07970 350366 / da@signhealth.org.uk
If you suffered abuse in childhood you might be finding things especially difficult, support is available: 0808 801 0331 / support@napac.org.uk

For more information on coercive control, please download our information sheet:

Domestic Abuse Support Presentation

The following presentation was developed by our Domestic Abuse Programmes Consultant, Roz Davidson, to provide an overview of the programmes we offer to women and children experiencing domestic abuse.

Programme Information

Our two core domestic abuse programmes that are currently being delivered are the CODA and the Freedom Programme. For more information on what both programmes seek to achieve, please see our flyers below along with some FAQs at the foot of this page.

 The following programmes are being delivered in 2021:

CODA Programme
(Years 5 and 6)​
CODA Programme
(Years 5 and 6)​
The Freedom Programme
The Freedom Programme
The Freedom Programme
12th January 2021 -
30th March 2021
14th January 2021 -
1st April 2021
5th January 2021 -
23rd March 2021
7th January 2021 -
25th March 2021
8th January 2021 -
25rd March 2021

To make a referral into our service, please either complete our online referral form or Word referral form by following the buttons below

The Voice of the Child

The videos below illustrate the impact that our recovery support – in the form of the CODA Programme – has had on children. Using the voices of the children, these powerful videos encapsulate the child’s lived experience and what they have gained as a result of attending the CODA Programme.
(Note: the children’s voices have been disguised to maintain their anonymity.)

Frequently Asked Questions – CODA 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.

The CODA Programme runs for twelve weeks with the women and children’s sessions running concurrently and each week focusing on a specific theme. The children’s sessions are also divided into age-specific groups and both the women’s sessions and the children’s sessions follow the same structure every week in order to provide a sense of continuity. This may include the following:

  • Check-In
  • Discussion
  • Activity
  • Check-Out

Due to the CODA Programme being a recovery programme, we do not accept referrals where the perpetrator or alleged perpetrator is still residing in the family home. We also do not accept referrals where children are on Child Protection Plans. We, as a service, are committed to ensuring that women and children receive the right support at the right time so please do contact Lou Neville-Ball, Family Services Officer, on 07964350616 to discuss alternative support that may be available locally.

Yes. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have turned our attention to delivering the CODA Programme virtually via Zoom. We have ensured that the necessary precautions have been taken in order for delivery to take place safely online.

Frequently Asked Questions – The Freedom Programme

The Freedom Programme was designed by Pat Craven and is for women who are experiencing or surviving domestic abuse. It usually runs for eleven or twelve weeks (but this may vary depending on your locality) and aims to:
  • Provide women who are experiencing or surviving domestic abuse with a safe, supportive and friendly environment.
  • Allow women to recognise the tactics and behaviours of ‘the dominator’ – that is, the tactics that typify a perpetrator of domestic abuse.
  • Give women the opportunity to build connections with other women.

The Freedom Programme focuses on a different theme each week based on the types of tactics that a perpetrator uses – ‘the dominator’. ‘The dominator’ is then contrasted with a non-perpetrating partner, ‘The Friend’, in order for the women to reflect through structured discussion.

Yes. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have turned our attention to delivering the Freedom Programme virtually via Zoom. We have ensured that the necessary precautions have been taken in order for delivery to take place safely online.

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