The impact on children and young people that have been exposed to domestic abuse can have many negative effects on their health and wellbeing. Effects can be physical, social and emotional – each child will deal with the situation differently.
Children may be worried, anxious or upset, and this can often affect their behaviour. This can lead to “acting out” or they can internalise their feelings and emotions and become withdrawn. Many children and young people who witness or experience domestic abuse have difficulties with school attendance as their ability to concentrate may be affected, as may their relationships with their peers. Click here to learn more about how children can be affected by domestic abuse.
Many children and young people can benefit from help and support to understand their experiences, and find it useful to talk to someone who is outside of the family unit. BCHA have two Family Intervention Services, our Poole Domestic Abuse Project covers Poole, while our Breakthru service works in Dorset. Both services offer one-to-one support for children and young people that have been affected by domestic abuse.
The support is focused on the practical and emotional needs of the child or young person, and the wider family. The service helps everyone to deal with, and come to terms with past issues, and move on with their lives.
In addition the service can:
- Work with children both on a one-to-one basis, and in small groups, helping them to learn coping mechanisms, raising self-esteem and confidence.
- Provide family sessions to support and encourage more positive family relationships.
- Work closely with other agencies to build positive support networks for the family.
- Promote family safety and security.
Poole Domestic Abuse Project (PDAP)
Who can receive support from PDAP
Any child aged between 5 -16 who has witnessed or experienced domestic abuse, and whose parents or carers have a local connection to Poole. Parents or carers will need to give written consent prior to the service being offered. Support can last for up to six months.
How can I refer a child or young person to PDAP?
Anyone can make a referral to PDAP, including parents or carers, or any agency working with the child or young person, such as schools, Social Services or health workers.
For more information please contact Poole Domestic Abuse Project: 01202 710777.
Who can receive support from Breakthru?
Any child or young person aged between 4 -16, whose family have been involved in the MARAC process within the last 12 months. In addition to this criteria, the family must also reside in Dorset.
How can I refer a child or young person to Breakthru?
Breakthru does not accept self-referrals. Referrals are accepted from the Dorset IDVA Service, and in some cases agencies that are working with the family, for example, Social Services.
For more information please email Breakthru or call our Customer Services Team: 01202 410500.