Children and Young People
Our specialist Children and Young People’s Team offer a range of age appropriate interventions designed to improve safety, provide a confidential space for children and young people to discuss problems and develop practical tools and coping strategies to combat the well-known impacts of domestic abuse
To access our children and young people’s support service please contact us for advice by calling 01639 894864 or email a completed referral form through CJSM to firstname.lastname@example.org or in password protected format to email@example.com
One to one Support
A one to one package of support is tailored to therapeutically address emotional, and sometimes physical needs that have arisen as a result of living in a family that has experienced domestic abuse.Support is typically offered over 6-8 weeks depending on the needs for the child or young person.
Sessions will be delivered by a trained and knowledgeable member of staff, using a range of practical activities including play, art, and storytelling to cover topics such as:- What domestic abuse is and how to stay safe
– Anger (what is it and how to manage it)
– How to distinguish between emotions and behaviours
– Healthy friendships and relationships
– Developing confidence and self-esteem
– Dealing with trauma and building resilience to manage the impact of domestic abuse
– Developing personal safety zones and strategies
The Safety, Trust and Respect Women's Aid programme works with children and their parent/guardian to strengthen their relationship following domestic abuse. This programme enables discussion about their experiences, understanding of the impact of domestic abuse on the child and strategies to cope.
We offer a range of programmes including; Ages 4-6 and Age 7 – 11.
Recovery Toolkit for Children and Young People (RTKCYP)
The Recovery Toolkit for Children and Young People is a 10 week programme that builds empowerment, feelings of self-efficacy and confidence. It uses a blend of practical activities, games and discussions with the goal of counteracting the negative effects of domestic abuse and help young people to achieve positive future relationships with family members and peers.
The following themes are covered:
– Identifying and addressing Negative Automatic Thinking.- Self-care and nurture.
– The differences between assertive behaviour and aggressive behaviour.
– Developing assertive behaviour and minimising aggressive behaviour.
– How to manage difficult emotions.
– Building positive relationships with family members and peers.
– Identifying future goals and aspirations and formulating strategies to achieve them.
– Building emotional resilience.
By running the adult programme concurrently, the parent gains a better understanding of the emotional journey that their child is on which helps to them to support their emotional development during the period of change and into the future.
Trips and Activities
We deliver 'additional' activities for children such as horse-riding, surfing, outdoor pursuits, rock climbing and more.
Access to challenging activities such as these are aimed at building resillience and supporting the child holistically to build confidence and self-esteem through engaging in new, fun and challenging activities.
RESPECT Age 16-25
RESPECT is well-established, tried and tested series of resources that are recognised as keystones of intervention provision within domestic abuse organisations.
By working with the individual to raise their awareness of acceptable and unacceptable behaviours whilst simultaneously developing self-confidence and feelings of self-efficacy we will provide a foundation for more positive family and interpersonal relationships.
Video Interaction Guidance (VIG)
Our specialist VIG practitioners offer support to parents with children under the age of 5 to help improve bonding and attachment issues that have resulted from domestic abuse.
What is VIG?
VIG is a bespoke method which involves filming an interaction between parent and child, and then editing the footage to 3 positive moments of interaction, this is then watched back with the client and discussed in depth.
This method has been widely approved to help with infant bonding and attachment between parents and babies. This method aims to improve communication and relationships. By focusing on the positives and recognising what parents are already doing well, it encourages that behaviour to be repeated.
How does it work?
– A short 10 minute video recording is taken of an interaction between the parent and child.
– The VIG guider will observe the footage and highlight 3 positive interactions between the parent and child.
– The VIG guider will then meet with the parent and view back the highlighted footage.
– Each cycle will include 4 VIG sessions spread over 9 – 10 weeks.
– By focusing on the positives and recognising what parents are already doing well it encourages that behaviour to be repeated.
– As a result the attachment bond between parent and child will be strengthened.
Individuals who have taken part in VIG have reported benefits in helping with bonding, attachment and parenting style. Participants say it has improved their confidence levels which has helped improve their communications and relationships with their children.
Other recorded benefits include:
– Confidence in parenting abilities.
– Building self-esteem.
– Confidence in communicating with their child.
– Encouraging play with their children.
– Understanding how to communicate with their child better.
– Improve the bond between parent and child.
Testimonials from VIG
It made me let my child be more independent.
Enjoy doing things in the house with him more as my confidence has improved.
Makes me feel a lot better
Sarah* was referred whilst living in our Move On supported accommodation with her 18 month old son (Toby*). After having two previous children removed from her care and her current child just been placed on the Child Protection register, she was referred to the Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) Project.
Sarah’s main aim was to increase her confidence in parenting that had been affected by the domestic abuse she had suffered in her previous relationships. At first, she was guarded with professionals and found it very hard to trust them. After the first VIG cycle she realised that it would only be looking at the positives in her interactions with her son, this gave her confidence in being able to talk more openly to our VIG Practitioner.
The video footage of Sarah and Toby allowed discussion around parenting styles, play and positive interactions, all of which were viewed and highlighted in the real life footage. After these discussions and by viewing herself performing positive interactions, Sarah’s behaviour significantly improved. She made more eye contact and began speaking and communicating with Toby, to help encourage his development. Their play became more natural towards the end of the cycles, and mum was now receiving initiatives and responding to them on a more regular basis and could see the benefits of this.
By the end of the VIG cycles Sarah’s progress had been noted by all professionals who were working with her. She was more confident in her parenting skills, and was also more trusting of working with professionals. She has also moved out of the move on accommodation and is currently living in her own rented accommodation. She now does more activities with her son, such as taking him to the park and has been on holidays, which has improved their relationship.
With regards to her Child Protection proceedings, professionals had noted that the client had made massive improvements in her parenting, and that this was partly down to the work done by the VIG project. The recommendation is that during the next Child Protection conference the Child protection level be brought down to Child in Need.
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people we support.