Examination of Witnesses

Part of Domestic Abuse Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:24 pm on 29th October 2019.

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Sally Noden:

I can talk about a case study. I think this will answer your question—tell me if it does not. Within our service, we had a referral of a sibling group. There is a waiting list, and by the time of the referral one of the children had been removed—in fact, all three of them had been removed and one was in a foster placement on their own. We continued with that work; our original piece of work was with the foster carer and the young person.

We linked up with children’s social care and with the foster carer, and we met with mum, because the young child was potentially going to go back home—so we linked up in terms of what sort of therapeutic support we could offer this young person. In fairness, children’s social care linked up with us as well and ensured that we were speaking to the right people. We needed to speak to the foster carer. We might have spoken only to mum, or we might not have spoken to her.

The big piece of work that we did with that young person was trying to work out their emotional responses to the uncertainty that they were going to go through. That was a huge piece of work, because they did not know whether they were going to go home. At one point, the courts were looking at whether dad was a potential caregiver. Dad had been the perpetrator of domestic violence towards mum. We had to do some work, although the child was not really in recovery because they still had lots of uncertainties; they really needed some therapeutic support in working out their emotions and their lack of knowledge about what was going on.

I do not know whether that quite answers your question. We ensured that we connected up, and doing so has to be everybody’s responsibility. It is the same with adult services. Often you see the adult presented, and you do not connect up whether the child will have to move school, and what will happen to them and their education. That is why it is so important to have children named as victims in the Bill, because people then have to connect it up, from all services.