Three charities have come together to develop a new service in Kirklees supporting children and young people who have experienced or been affected by domestic abuse.
The service is funded by Kirklees Local Authority and is being delivered by Pennine Domestic Abuse Partnership, Northorpe Hall Child & Family Trust and WomenCentre.
The new service will provide specialist, therapeutic and practical support. The team will work with schools and professionals to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the devastating impact this has on children and young people.
Alongside direct one to one support, the team will deliver information sessions to children, young people and parents to increase their knowledge and understanding of the effects of abuse and work with key agencies to develop helpful responses.
Pennine Domestic Abuse Partnership, Northorpe Hall Child & Family Trust and WomenCentre came together as a partnership to apply for this new and innovative service and were delighted to be awarded the contract earlier this year.
Kathryn Hinchliff, CEO of Pennine Domestic Abuse Partnership, said: “This partnership brings together our many years of experience working with families who have experienced trauma and allows us to provide an enhanced service to children and young people impacted by abuse.”
One in 5 children in the UK has been exposed to domestic abuse. In Kirklees, 10,624 domestic incidents were reported to police in 2020/21 and children were present in 25.7% of cases.
4,327 referrals were made to the Kirklees Duty and Advice Service in relation to children living in households with domestic abuse.
In 2021 the Domestic Abuse Act came into law and for the first time recognised that children are victims of domestic abuse in their own right.
Domestic abuse has a significant, long term impact on children and until now there has been no specialist support available in Kirklees to help them recover from the abuse.
The new partnership will include direct one to one and group support work for children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse, therapeutic interventions appropriate to each child and young person to support them in their recovery and whole family support.
The partnership will also support access to existing services, group programmes and training sessions that increase knowledge and understanding of domestic abuse and partnership working with key agencies to improve and strengthen responses.
The service team include domestic abuse navigators who work directly with children and young people supporting them to recover from abuse, ensuring their voice is heard and helping them stay safe and a clinical coordinator who will support the child or young person to access therapeutic support such as counselling, forest, music, play and art therapy, helping to increase their confidence, reduce isolation and build resilience.
Trainers who will work with professionals to increase knowledge and understanding of the effects of abuse on children and young people and support them to better identify and support victims of domestic abuse.