Since 2019, and thanks to Neil Blacklock who was our Development Director at the time, we have been implementing this internally recognised approach to working with domestic abuse in child protection settings in partnership with Waltham Forest and Hackney councils.
What is it?
The Safe and Together approach comprises a suite of materials which have had international success in changing children’s social care responses to domestic abuse, increasing the number of children who remain safely with their non-abusive parent and decreasing the high re-referral rate for cases where domestic abuse is a child protection concern.
The approach is structured around three principles:
1. Keeping children Safe and Together with their non-abusive parent, ensuring safety, healing from trauma, stability, and nurturance.
2. Partnering with the non-abusive parent as a default position ensuring efficient, effective, and child-centred practice.
3. Intervening with the perpetrator to reduce the risk and harm to the child through engagement, accountability, and criminal justice.
More information about the model can be found on the Safe & Together Institute website.
Implementation of Safe and Together
Safe and Together Overview and CORE trainings, which Respect can deliver, are a starting point for the wider systems change process within Children’s Social Care Settings, and getting that process right is what helps to secure buy-in and confidence from staff teams, as well as sustain change over the longer term. Through the provision of dedicated Safe and Together Implementation Leads, as well as bespoke supplementary consultation and training, Respect have brought our expertise in the field of domestic abuse perpetrator engagement to successfully embed this model in Waltham Forest and Hackney.
Safe & Together – Respect’s partnerships
In 2021-2022 Respect will continue to implement Safe and Together in Waltham Forest and Hackney, and we will also expand the delivery of the Safe and Together approach into eight more London boroughs, as part of two partnerships projects:
1. The London Safe and Together Partnership is a systems change approach to modernise and improve the response to domestic abuse across all staff in children’s services and their partner agencies. Since 2019, the programme partners have been Respect and the London Boroughs of Waltham Forest and Hackney. With funding from the Home Office, the programme will be extended to three more East London Boroughs (Newham, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge) in 2021.
2. The second partnership brings together the Drive Partners, Respect, Safelives and Social Finance with DAHA for the delivery of a pilot project that builds on learning from an emergency response trial initiated during COVID-19. This programme provides a combined intervention and accommodation response to perpetrators of domestic abuse through children’s social care and housing, to provide increased space for action for survivors and their children in cases where adult and child survivors may have otherwise had to leave the family home. The aim is to enable them to stay in the family home with their support networks . The project also provides workforce development within children’s social care through the implementation of the Safe and Together approach.
For more information on Respect’s work with Safe and Together or to find out about trainings, contact [email protected].