It’s a sad fact that domestic abuse affects many children in our town.
Four in every 10 of the young people assessed by children’s social care in Doncaster are from homes where domestic abuse is present.
Often, we only get to know about these cases when they have become very serious.
Domestic abuse includes emotional abuse, controlling behaviour or violence – and all of these can have devastating consequences on children’s development.
As Doncaster Children’s Services Trust – the UK’s first independent social care organisation – our job is to help children stay safe.
Over the past year we have joined forces with organisations like the council, schools, police and voluntary services to build support around those who need it.
Just last week we held the latest in a series of multi-agency workshops to finalise our joint domestic abuse strategy.
Despite the evidence of the scale of domestic abuse in Doncaster, it’s our belief that ‘life doesn’t have to be like this.’ We believe that people can change for the better.
In addition to our programmes for domestic abuse victims, we’re supporting mums and dads who have abused their partners through violence or controlling behaviour. In partnership with the police and the charity foundations, we’re working directly with perpetrators to help improve their behaviour. The results are encouraging so far. Many of the perpetrators completing the course say they have transformed their lives. This has a positive knock-on effect on the lives of their children. But we don’t just want to keep children safe. We’re focused on providing outstanding care, and on helping youngsters reach their full potential, now and in the future.
Our mission is to find new and dynamic ways of empowering children, and their families, to move to a better future together. We understand the vital importance of healthy behaviour.
“We’re working with schools to educate primary and secondary pupils about healthy relationships. The goal is to equip young people with the life skills to understand what healthy behaviour looks like.
With our team of Young Advisors, whose views are crucial to getting it right, we’re creating a groundbreaking new tool kit for teachers and anyone working with young people. Later this year, watch this space for what we hope will be enlightening research about domestic abuse conducted by young people, for young people.
We’re excited and encouraged by the change that we are starting to see in Doncaster, but this is a long-term strategy, and one that requires commitment from whole communities and from everyone working with our town’s great young people.