The Safe & Together Model
re: Domestic Violence
Our practice model for assessing and intervening where domestic abuse, controlling and coercive behaviours are featuring is the Safe & Together model. This model has three key principles and five core components. The model has been incorporated into both Manchester Safeguarding Partnership training, all training offered by the Social Work Consultants and Children’s Service Practice Standards.
The Safe and Together Model is a perpetrator pattern based, child centred, survivor strengths approach to working with domestic violence. The model was originally developed for use within the child welfare systems. Applying the model has both policy and practice implications for a variety of professionals, organisations and systems. Including domestic violence advocates, family support services, courts and others.
The model is behaviourally focused and highlights how work is carried out practically and with concrete system changes in practice. The model has a growing body of evidence associated with it including recent correlations with a reduction in out of home placements in child welfare domestic violence cases.
In order to promote the principles of the Safe & Together model in our practice there are two main streams of support for practitioners draw upon. On this page you can find information about coercive control, tips and resources for a domestic violence informed response, and a list of organisations that work with both survivors and perpetrators.
Learning, Training & Coaching
Online Domestic Violence Workshops:
Covering a range of topics relevant to children’s safeguarding, these monthly workshops strive to provide practitioners with relevant research, practice tools and strategies for addressing domestic violence, which are aligned to Manchester’s practice framework. These workshops are open to all Children’s Services Practitioners and external partner agencies within the Manchester Safeguarding Partnership and are facilitated by Social Work, Education and Health representatives. The schedule for 2021 is:
Safe & Together Clinics:
Safe & Together Clinics are offered for teams or individual practitioners.
During the clinics there is focus on particular dilemmas being experiencing by the practitioner / team in their work with a family. A reflective discussion about how to apply the Safe and Together model within their work with that family. During which strategies are explored with an aim of developing concrete next steps in their work.
Clinics are generally Monday’s 1 - 2:30pm.
Safe & Together Institute
Coercive control is a form of psychological abuse whereby the perpetrator exerts power over a victim, often through intimidation or humiliation. The Government definition also outlines the following:
The Serious Crime Act 2015 (the 2015 Act) created a new offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in intimate or familial relationships. The new offence closes a gap in the law around patterns of controlling or coercive behaviour in an ongoing relationship between intimate partners or family members. Controlling or Coercive Behaviour in an Intimate or Family Relationship: Statutory Guidance Framework, December 2015.
Coercive control is domestic abuse. Mumsnet, Women's Aid and Surrey Police have joined together to help raise awareness of the dangers of coercive control.
Luke Hart talks about his experience of domestic violence and coercive control within his childhood and into his adult life. If you are not familiar with Luke and Ryan Hart’s stories, take time to view his keynote speech. Their mother and sister were murdered by their father in 2016. Their book, Remembered Forever, is highly recommended reading for practitioners.
Professor Evan Stark gives a lecture to help improve understanding of coercive control, a new offence in the United Kingdom.
Domestic Violence Informed Response
During this period it will be significantly important to partner with survivors, while also engaging with and supporting perpetrators in order to lessen the impact of any adverse experiences for the children.
• Review all safety plans developed previous to Covid-19 as much of these will now be irrelevant.
• Apply the SAFE & TOGETHER MODEL COVID-19 QUICK PRACTICE GUIDE: A Mapping Tool Supplement to reassess the situation.
• Ensure that the survivor’s safety plan is documented and uploaded under their own record with a note on the child’s file reflecting this.
Government Covid-19 Advice
Reduce stress and promote healthy coping
Promote healthy family functioning and coping strategies with families. Provide support to promote:
• Healthy and consistent family routines
• Equal parenting roles
• Playtime for the children, and, between children and parents
• Alone times for family members
Promote family networks
• Establish who can/will provide practical support where possible to alleviate stressors.
• Promote accessibility and establish a consistent check in process with families.
• Using multiagency partners to support the network.
Partnering with the survivor: things to note with Covid-19
Intervening with the perpetrator: things to note with Covid-19
Checking in with children: things to note with Covid-19
When making contact with survivors
Are they able to talk freely now?
Is the survivor is safe now?
Inform and Support
National 24hr DV Helpline 0808 2000 247
National LGBT Helpline 0300 999 5428
National Stalking Helpline 0808 802 0300
Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327
Think about communication
Domestic Violence Community Organisations
For details of national helplines, go to: www.gov.uk/report-domestic-abuse
Specialise in providing free, fast and effective support to survivors of domestic violence and abuse, usually by helping individuals obtain injunctions from their local county court. This free service is provided to everybody, regardless of their financial circumstances, sexual orientation, race, gender, age, political, religious belief or otherwise.
Independent Choices was founded in 1978 as the Women’s Centre, later becoming the Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline before changing the service name to the Women’s Domestic Abuse Helpline in 2008. The focus of the services of Independent Choices is the confidential and serves Greater Manchester.
Next Chapter (formerly known as Colchester & Tendring Women's Refuge) is a domestic abuse charity working across the areas of Tendring, Colchester, Maldon, Chelmsford, Braintree & Uttlesford. We provide free and confidential services to support people who are currently experiencing, or have previously experienced domestic abuse
Services for Specific Populations
Advice, information and support services to Asian women and their children fleeing domestic abuse and/or forced marriages
Southall Black Sisters, a not-for-profit, secular and inclusive organisation, was established in 1979 to meet the needs of Black (Asian and African-Caribbean) women. Our aims are to highlight and challenge all forms gender-related violence against women, empower them to gain more control over their lives; live without fear of violence and assert their human rights to justice, equality and freedom.
The helpline is a national specialist faith and culturally sensitive service that is confidential and non-judgmental, which offers information, support, guidance and referrals. We also provide holistic in depth support via case-workers for complex cases where service users need ongoing support which could last weeks or months. The helpline also acts as an interface or conduit between the victims and other specialist that can also provide support.
Programs for Men
Services for Children & Young People
Developed by: Stephen Brock, M.S.W., Social Work Consultant. email@example.com
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