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Drive and Research in Practice host launch event for resources on responding to perpetrators of domestic abuse within families where children’s social care are involved

The Drive Partnership – which is made up of Social Finance, Respect and SafeLives – are proud to have worked with Research in Practice, having been funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, to host a launch event and knowledge exchange on responding to perpetrators of domestic abuse within families where children’s social care are involved.

Leaders and practitioners in the children’s social care sector were invited to participate in the online event, which saw the launch of new resources produced in collaboration between the Drive Partnership and Research in Practice:

Dez Holmes, Director of Research in Practice, said:

“These new resources highlight how crucial engagement from the children’s social care sector is in holding perpetrators of domestic abuse to account in ways that support sustainable change for families. They pull together lived experience from victim-survivors, the expertise of those working in the children’s social care sector, as well as the existing research base. Together, they create a powerful argument for further research and evaluation of how we can apply evidence-informed practice to promote whole system change for adult and children victims and survivors.”

Beyond disseminating the key learnings from these new resources, the launch event also provided a space for colleagues to share knowledge, exchange ideas and network across multi-sector partners. Dez Holmes summarised some of the key themes and points made, which included:

  • The ‘responsibilisation’ of mothers, coupled with the ‘invisibilisation’ of fathers and father figures creates a perfect storm in which victim-survivors are held accountable for their harm and its impact on children.
  • The importance of adopting an intersectional lens when it comes to both supporting families where there is a perpetrator of domestic abuse and supporting the children’s social care workforce.
  • The fact that trauma-informed practice goes hand in hand with relationship-based and strengths-based practice, and if we aspire to have these approaches to practice, then they need to be woven into supervision, management, leadership and organisational strategy.

Kyla Kirkpatrick, Director of Drive, said:

“It was fantastic seeing colleagues from across so many sectors engage in critical but supportive discussions about how we can work together to support and empower people working in children’s social care to responding effectively to perpetrators of domestic abuse. We look forward to continuing this collaboration with Research in Practice, promoting systemic change and exploring best practice with those who can apply it in their day-to-day work.”

You can find out more about the launch event and new resources here, where you can also sign up to further updates on projects from the Drive Partnership.

Notes for editors

The Drive Partnership

The Drive Partnership comprises Respect, SafeLives and Social Finance.  We believe that domestic abuse is not acceptable or inevitable. The Drive Partnership advocates for changes to national systems so that perpetrators posing all levels of risk can no longer get away with abusive behaviour and can access the help they need to stop.  It also co-ordinates delivery of the Drive Project, working with high-harm, high-risk and serial perpetrators of domestic abuse to prevent their abusive behaviour and protect victims. Drive challenges these perpetrators to change and works with partner agencies – like the police and social services – to disrupt any ongoing abuse.

The Drive Project was developed in 2015 – to address a gap in work with high-harm perpetrators of domestic abuse. Drive works across England and Wales with local service providers delivering the intervention in local areas. In every site, we partner with local specialist domestic abuse organisations to design and deliver a programme tailored for the locality. This work is done in partnership with statutory agencies such as the police, public health, and children’s social care.

Reduction in abuse. The University of Bristol’s evaluation of the project found the number of Drive service users perpetrating abuse types reduced as follows:

• physical abuse reduced by 82%;

• sexual abuse reduced by 88%,

• harassment and stalking behaviours reduced by 75%;

• and jealous and controlling behaviours reduced by 73%.

Reduction of risk: Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs), who are trained to work with victims-survivors and assess the level of domestic abuse risk they face, recorded reduction in risk to victims in 82% of cases.

Drive is a partnership between Respect, SafeLives and Social Finance:

Respect – Respect is the UK membership organisation for work with domestic violence perpetrators, male victims and young people using violence in their close relationships. Respect has developed standards and accreditation and provides training and support to improve responses to adults using violence and abuse in intimate relationships. Respect accreditation is the benchmark for the provision of quality interventions working with perpetrators of domestic abuse.

SafeLives – SafeLives is the UK-wide charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, for everyone and for good. SafeLives work with organisations across the UK to transform the response to domestic abuse.

Social Finance – Social Finance is a not-for-profit organisation that partners with the government, the social sector and the financial community to find better ways of tackling social problems in the UK and beyond. They have raised over £100 million of social investment and designed a series of programmes to tackle social challenges including supporting vulnerable adolescents to avoid being taken into care, supporting older people reduce their level of loneliness and helping people with health conditions and disabilities access employment.

Funding and Commissioning partners

Drive is funded by a mix of grant making trusts, central government grants and local government commissioning from policing, public health and local authorities. Local commissioners play a particularly important leadership role in Drive Project sites. The National Lottery Community Fund is a key funder, supporting the delivery of the Drive Project in certain sites and funding the Drive Partnership National Systems Change work until March 2023. The UK government is another key funder and is supporting some sites to adopt the Drive Project. Find out more information at: http://driveproject.org.uk/ and follow us on Twitter: @DriveProjectUK

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. National Lottery players raise £36 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, £43 billion has been raised for good causes which has supported over 635,000 projects, benefiting millions of people – that’s 255 projects per postcode area.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

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