DV-ACTION: Launching DV-ACTs Unique Bespoke Treatment Programmes
2022 sees the launch of a new division of DV-ACT to deliver bespoke specialist treatment programmes for parents in child protection measures.
DV-ACT experts have used their decades of experience to develop the UK's first bespoke domestic abuse programmes delivered remotely for parents in child protection measures. Our programmes are designed to support effective change in parents particularly where there are complex needs, this is how:
A child-centred approach is used - The safety of the child is always the main consideration, making our programmes more appropriate to address child safeguarding concerns,
Designed to make changes - Our programmes aim to move clients to a point where they can make effective changes.
Informed by risk assessment - We know that domestic abuse treatment programmes are not a panacea and attendance does not guarantee a reduction in risk, therefore, treatment plans are overseen by specialist risk assessors to ensure that expectations are realistic and within the child/rens timescales. Programmes also include final reports completed by expert assessors that can be used in court so that progress is accurately reported addressing the concerns of the court and/or local authority.
Tailored to the case - All of our programmes are completed on a 1:1 basis so that the specific needs of the client can be met. This means that we can deliver to those that cannot attend a group work programme, such as those that need an interpreter, have used female violence, are registered sex offenders or have complex needs.
Delivered using blended learning - Rather than the ad-hoc efforts delivered during the pandemic, our programmes are professional purpose-built remote courses. All of our programmes include 1:1 sessions with an expert treatment worker that take place via video calling with online materials available to reinforce the learning at home.
Active learning styles supported- Programme materials are tailored to match the learning styles of the client to help them to understand and internalise the material.
Groundbreaking new programme for mothers
This programme uses a blended learning format to deliver both face to face focused work with a specialist and an online programme of work designed specifically to facilitate long term change.
Most community domestic abuse programmes offer excellent education, support and advocacy to victims of violence and abuse. However, the needs of mothers in child protection measures are often complex, with enduring problems around adult attachments, the normalisation of abuse and the impact of their experiences on decision making in relation to risk and the safety of themselves and their children. In these cases, more intensive, challenging and focused work is needed in order to support lasting change.
Further challenges for families accessing treatment programmes include; practical issues such as childcare and travel; programme material that is less accessible as it is designed for those with an academic learning style and confidentiality rules that preclude the reporting of progress to family courts.
The DV-ACTION programme for mothers aims to solve these problems by:
providing 10 weekly one to one sessions with an experienced domestic abuse treatment worker to bring challenge and focus to the work,
tailoring a bespoke programme of modules and topics to address the issues in the child protection plan for each specific case,
involving the mother in creating the programme of work which helps to encourage a sense of agency and collaboration,
delivering online learning with content that matches the learning styles of the mother including interactive exercises, videos, audio clips and simplified language so that those who do not have an academic learning style can still access the material,
providing lifelong access to the DV-ACTION learning platform along with an android tablet to promote lifelong change and ongoing support,
including sessions with an expert risk assessor who will complete a final report that can be used in court and detail the progress made.
Perpetrator work to challenge and motivate
A full DAPP is available for perpetrators who require one to one work and meet suitability criteria. The programme consists of 18 sessions delivered weekly on a one-to-one basis by an experienced perpetrator treatment worker. As it is a programme delivered on a one to one basis, there can be a particular focus on specific areas of concern raised by the courts or to meet the requirements of the child protection plan. The programme will cover all the topics usually delivered within a DAPP including:
Strategies for reducing violence,
Analysing feelings and behaviour,
Motivation to change,
Power and control,
Sexual respect and intimacy,
Positive self talk,
Attitudes towards women.
For those perpetrators that do not admit to their abusive behaviour or heavily minimise incidents of high-risk abuse and are therefore unsuitable for a full DAPP DV-ACT experts can deliver a unique bespoke motivational programme specifically for these perpetrators who have children in child protection measures and are willing to complete domestic abuse work. This programme of work aims to get perpetrators to the point at which they can attend a full perpetrator programme and work on their behaviour.
The programme is suitable for perpetrators who:
have been found unsuitable for a programme due to their denial/minimisation
deny or minimise abusive behaviour but are willing to participate in domestic abuse work
admit to low-risk incidents but deny using high-risk behaviour
The work is demanding and matched to the needs of the perpetrator and the child protection plan. We can work with; those that need a translator; female perpetrators; parents in court proceedings; those currently in a relationship and separated parents.
Please note that this is a motivational programme with the aim of getting perpetrators to the point at which they are suitable to attend a full domestic abuse programme (DAPP) and is not a replacement for a full DAPP.
Full final assessments to accurately report progress
All of our programmes include a full final assessment report. For the preservation of objectivity, all final reports are completed by assessors independent from the practitioner completing the work. As this report is completed by an expert assessor it can be used with confidence in court proceedings – all DV-ACT assessors are experienced, expert witnesses.
The detailed final report is provided following the conclusion of the work including the following:
what the sessions covered;
whether the client has met the targets outlined at the beginning of the work;
recommendations for further work;
recommendations for risk management strategies including recommendations regarding child contact/residency.
For more information on DV-ACTION Programmes visit our new dedicated website at dvactprogrammes.org. You can also sign up for our email updates or contact us to be kept informed about this innovative new service.
DV-ACT are a team of domestic abuse experts, available throughout the UK, who provide assessments, programmes, consultancy and training to local authorities and the family courts. Our experts have decades of experience working directly with domestic abuse perpetrators and victims, as specialist assessors and as expert witnesses in the family courts.
DV-ACT was formed with the aim of using our expertise to help safeguard children from abuse, this is at the heart of everything that we do. To read more about us please visit our post - Who are DV-ACT?