This content originally appeared in our newsletter between November and December 2014 and reflected our views at the time. Caada is the previous name of SafeLives.
With 2014 now coming to a close, we spoke to a few professionals and the people they've made safe to hear what made them proud.
Helping victims in a hospital setting
Amber Canham, Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisor, North Devon Against Domestic Abuse
Amber set up a new system of routine enquiries about domestic abuse in the hospital where she is based. The result? A surge in referrals, particularly from the emergency department and maternity ward:
“The medical staff have been very open to what we do. Before the hospital IDVA post existed, we had no referrals from this hospital at all. Every few months the staff saw patients who were self-harming or had attempted suicide because of the abuse they were experiencing. Now these patients are being helped by the IDVA service instead - we have about seven referrals a week.”
Focus on young people
Claire Amans, Young People's Violence Advisor and Service Co-ordinator, South Tyneside
Claire is a Young People's Violence Advisor (YPVA) who started working in South Tyneside this year, directly supporting young people and their families. As soon as she began, Claire realised that young people in the area were in desperate need of more help:
“I only came into the post in March and by the end of July it was evident that it wasn't possible to meet the demand alone. Currently I supervise two staff members within the YPVA service - both have extensive experience working with high risk young people. Everyone who we support has a lead Young Person's Violence Officer who offers weekly 1:1 sessions to both them and their family. To date the feedback we have gained from young people, their families and partner agencies has been very positive. I'm proud of what we have achieved so far.”
The voice of a young victim
Cathy, 17, teenage victim of relationship abuse
Claire's new service has already helped many young people to deal with abusive relationships and turn their lives around. Cathy, aged 17, was in a physically and mentally abusive relationship for eight months with her boyfriend. He controlled her behaviour, grabbed and pushed her, even strangling her once. She spent four months working with Claire, and as a result was able to end the relationship earlier this year:
“Claire helped not just me but also my family so much – I now feel I'm becoming myself again. She understands everything I say to her and the things she has taught me will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
Working with the whole family
Dee Conlon, Deputy CEO Empowerment, Blackpool
Empowerment in Blackpool was one of the first services to use our Children's Insights outcome measurement programme. They recently received a Children and Young People Now (CYPN) award and secured extra funding for the work of their children's IDVA service ‘The Den'. They supported their application for both using data from Children's Insights.
“This year, we won the CYPN award in the category of family support - it's a real recognition of the difference we've been able to make to children's and young people's lives.
"With CAADA Children's Insights data in particular, we now have the evidence base to show how we've helped children and young people. The tool is really useful for small organisations. It shows, in a way that we've never been able to before, the very real outcomes of the service we provide. By proving the value of what we do, the data also helped us secure five-year funding to roll out our service in the neighbouring area. It's such a relief to know that we've achieved some stability and are not going disappear overnight.”
Improving how MARACs work
Emma Storey, MARAC Coordinator and IDVA Services Manager, Cheshire East
The MARAC steering group for Cheshire East has also been trying something different. Their new audit process helps find out the impact their work has had on victims and their families, and how the MARAC could be even better:
“We looked at a couple of cases informally and thought there would be value in looking at what happened to that case prior to the MARAC and after it. We randomly chose three cases and came up with the idea of a template that we would ask all MARAC agencies to complete. The response has been fantastic – people have really gone into quite a bit of effort to dig into what had gone on for the family. It's been really valuable for us. We've decided that we need to do some MARAC and risk assessment training, which has been scheduled in, and we've also used it as a case study for our multi-agency training.”