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Response to the Thematic Report on Children Living with Domestic...

ADCS response to the thematic report on children living with domestic abuse from Ofsted, CQC, HMICFRS and HMIP

Commenting on the thematic report on children living with domestic abuse Alison Michalska, President of ADCS, said:

“Domestic abuse is so persistent and widespread, it is the most common factor in situations where children are at risk of serious harm in this country today. Whilst this report recognises that much good work is being done by local authorities and their partners across the country, the terrifying scale of this issue means that agencies have had to focus virtually all of their available resources on protecting children and victims from the immediate risk of harm, rather than on prevention, at which point the damage to children and victims has already been done. Some councils have had to cut back on non-statutory services, as our funding reduces, which means that vital support services for victims of domestic abuse aren’t always available or accessible despite the clear need for these services.

“Tackling domestic abuse effectively is complex; there is usually more than one victim and multiple risk factors at play. Domestic abuse is not limited to any ethnicity or sexual orientation and it occurs across a range of demographic divides. No one agency can effectively tackle this form of abuse alone and as the report states the most successful interventions seen were multi-agency based. Domestic violence can have a lifelong, devastating and intergenerational impact on victims and children. It is concerning to read that in some cases organisations described as relevant partners in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ statutory guidance did not ask about children’s welfare at all where domestic abuse was a factor.

“The report rightly highlights the need for a long-term strategy to reduce the prevalence of domestic abuse and we strongly support the call for a public health approach to tackling domestic abuse, including the development of a national public service campaign aimed at raising awareness of domestic abuse and violence. But we will not see the necessary shift from intervention at the point of crisis to prevention that we need to see without sufficient, sustainable funding from government. A shift to a more systematic focus on prevention and changing perpetrator behaviours is long overdue and the government must lead this endeavour from the front as a matter of urgency.”


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