How are DV-ACT Completing Assessments During the Coronavirus Crisis?
If you are a social worker or solicitor this post will tell you how DV-ACT are continuing to offer expert domestic abuse assessments and one to one work despite the Coronavirus crisis restrictions.
At a time when many are self isolating and following government guidelines to stay at home it is difficult for services to keep going. However, DV-ACT are remaining open and are still completing our expert assessments and client work throughout this time with the entire assessment process taking place online. Read more about why we must keep working in lockdown.
Our assessors have decades of experience working with victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse in a number of ways and since the lockdown began we have been completing assessments using video call technology as well as continuing to deliver 1:1 work with vulnerable mothers.
The safety of the clients and their children must come first and we have published guidelines for completing work safely when video calling and have a whole system of safety checks to employ if the client is living with a partner. We also acknowledge that clients may have concerns about working in this way and we have a number of strategies for reassuring clients when working remotely.
Many potential referrers have asked how this would work in practice, this post will give a step by step explanation of our new assessment process.
Contact the Practice Manager - Practice Manager, Claire Verney, is continuing to work from home, contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be your first port of call for enquiries and referrals.
Referring and sending documents - The referral form should be completed electronically and emailed to us with any documents related to the case. This can be sent by Egress Switch or, if you have any other secure email systems, contact us to arrange this.
Liaise with the assessor - After submission of a referral Claire will let you know which of our experts have been assigned to your case, the assessor will then speak to the clients and liaise with the social worker and solicitor, where appropriate, to make arrangements for the client interviews.
Interviews with the client- Interviews will take place online, clients need to ensure that they can be in a quiet place away from interruption with access to a laptop, tablet or smartphone. The client can stay in their own home and arrangements will be made on a case by case basis with the assessor.
Assessment report - The assessment report will be emailed to the lead solicitor or social worker for distribution.
Court attendance - Should a case require the assessor to attend court this can be completed via video link, our assessors already have experience at giving evidence in this way.
Please be assured that the safety of clients is our main priority and we will always adhere to government guidance regarding social distancing.
Our assessors work quickly in order to complete assessments within timescales so please do not hesitate to get in touch in advance if there are any problems completing the referral form or providing documentation. We are here to help you make the best decisions for your client on time and within budget. For further information on how to complete a referral please refer to our post How to make a DV-ACT referral.
For more information on our assessments visit our Assessment Page
Our post on the essential criteria for a domestic abuse expert may also be helpful.
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.