A young girl looking out of a window.

Foundation: Responding to young people affected by domestic abuse (Ypva)

Our Foundation: Responding to young people affected by domestic abuse (Ypva) course aims to increase understanding of how domestic abuse differs for young people and how to make young people safer

Key course features

This course will cover the following topics:

  • The dynamics of domestic abuse and how it is different for young people
  • How adolescence impacts on a young person's behaviour
  • Key risk factors for serious harm
  • How to safely plan in a multi-agency context
  • New technologies, social media and apps, and how to keep up to date as new technologies emerge

Course overview

Our Foundation: Responding to young people affected by domestic abuse course (Ypva) aims to increase your understanding of how domestic abuse differs for young people and how to improve your professional response to make young people safer. This course is made up of the initial 8 days of core domestic abuse knowledge plus 4 days of specialist Ypva content focusing on supporting young victims of domestic abuse

Young people experience the highest rates of domestic abuse of any age group. Our report Safe Young Lives highlighted the fact that the abuse that young people experience may look different to the abuse that adults experience. It also found that existing adult domestic abuse support is not always equipped to meet the needs of young people. It is important that support for young people is delivered in a way that is responsive to their needs and their specific issues are expertly addressed.

The Ypva Foundation training is supported by relevant specialists from many different fields, including: civil law, harmful practices and tech abuse. This course is aimed at Ypvas, Idva practitioners, domestic abuse practitioners and service managers who currently carry an active caseload of domestic abuse victims or are about to start doing so. 

The training can also be a great opportunity for non-DA professionals to gain CPD around the risks specifically around young people’s experiences of domestic abuse. SafeLives does however recommend that you have a strong knowledge of domestic abuse case management.  

The content is designed to give learners the depth and breadth of understanding needed to support domestic abuse victims, survivors and their children in a multi-agency context from a whole family perspective. These first 8 days core learning are the same days as in the Idva Foundation. If you have already completed Idva Foundation you do not need to repeat these, instead complete just the Ypva Specialist course.

Learn more about our Idva Foundation Course 


Topics covered in this course include:

  • Prosocial modelling, vicarious trauma and advocacy core skills
  • Using the Dash Risk Assessment and effective safety planning
  • Anti-racist practice
  • Harmful practices
  • LGBTQ+
  • Civil law including non-molestation options
  • Criminal justice system
  • Housing law and options
  • Mental health

Please note the course uses the term young people to describe those aged 13 to 20 and does not contain content about children under 13 experiencing domestic abuse via a parental type relationship.


We are delighted to announce that, following an open competition, we have been awarded funding from the Ministry of Justice to provide training for new and existing ISVAs, IDVAs, and service managers.  We are pleased the Government recognises how crucial Idvas are to tens of thousands of victims every year. We run the flagship Idva qualification and have trained more than 3,300 Independent Idvas across England and Wales to date. With this provision, we will be able to increase access to training, especially for smaller specialist services, through subsidies.  We will also enhance the support we give practitioners through an extended range of specialised training courses, webinars and best practice resources to grow the knowledge, confidence and skills vital to helping survivors of domestic abuse.

Thanks to this, we have been able to reduce the cost of this training – see new costing below.

Available training

Application closes 12 September 2024

Foundation Ypva Course

Block1 : 10-12 December

Block 2: 14-16 January

Block 3: 11-13 February

Bock 4: 25-27 March

Time commitment

The Ypva Foundation course comprises 12 days online training, delivered in four blocks; e-learning modules which must be completed prior to attending each block of training; and the completion of four assessed worksheets that are submitted online. 

The first eight days of all our foundation courses cover what we consider the core essentials for anyone working with victims of domestic abuse. The final four days focus on the specialist subject. You must attend all 12 days. 

The list below provides guidance on recommended study time you should allow: 

  • Guided learning (training blocks, pre-course reading and e-learning modules) – 120 hours 
  • Worksheets – 50 hours 
  • Notional study – 130 hours 
  • Total course time requirement – 300 hours 


Our Ypva Foundation course is available to practitioners who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Anyone with a current, active caseload supporting domestic abuse victims. This is to ensure that you have a variety of cases for practice reflection as part of your assessment.
  2. Has a line manager or equivalent supervisor within an appropriate organisation. They should confirm your application details and support you for the duration of the course and whilst you are completing the worksheets.

To promote diversity and widen our learners’ network, we generally limit the number of successful applicants from the same organisation admitted to one course to two spaces.

Please consider this before you apply to avoid any disappointment.

I've really enjoyed this training!! Trainers have all been so friendly and helpful. The course has given me some great information, particularly around motivational interviewing and girls in gangs, and has overall improved my confidence in my role. I felt like the course covered lots of different, really relevant topics and was really informative.

Previous learner


£2,082.50 per learner


We are committed to supporting smaller and specialist services to access our services, and we’re pleased to offer a limited number of  subsidised places for this course on two tiers.

  • Subsidised (£1,950) - Learners from registered charities with an annual income of less than £1million
  • Super Subsidised (£950) - Learners from registered charities with an annual income of less than £500,000.

How to apply

Applications for the next Foundation Ypva course are open now through the link above.


We welcome learners of all backgrounds and abilities. We encourage you to share with us any details on accessibility and diversity needs so we can ensure the right support is in place. You can also contact us if you have any queries via training@safelives.org.uk.

You may also be interested in

Safe Young Lives report

This spotlight report focuses on the experiences of young victims of domestic abuse and makes recommendations for practitioners and policymakers.

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