From the 1st April 2017, domestic abuse services in Kent are changing. The IDVA service, and KCC contracts for refuges and floating support all end on 31st March 2018, to be replaced by new area based integrated support services.
New initiative to inform schools and early years settings of domestic abuse incidents
Operation Encompass is a national initiative regarding the notification and sharing of information in respect of domestic abuse incidents within families.
What is Operation Encompass?
Operation Encompass is a process by which Key Adults in schools and early years settings are informed that a child attending school in that area may be affected by domestic abuse. This will usually mean that a child has been in the household where an incident of domestic abuse has taken place, or has been exposed to domestic abuse. The initiative will be trialled in South Kent area and following this will be rolled out across the county in the next twelve months.
- When a police officer attends a domestic abuse incident where a child or young person has been in the house or exposed to the abuse, the officer will obtain details of the incident. This will include, if the child or young person is of school age, information relating to the schools or early years setting they attend.
- All domestic abuse records will be fully reviewed to ascertain if a child or young person was present during the incident. If so, the police will share information, in confidence, at the earliest opportunity with a Designated Safeguarding Lead in the school in which the child attends.
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead, who will have been provided with Operation Encompass training by the police and Education Safeguarding Team, will record and retain the information they receive in a secure location as per schools/settings safeguarding protocols.
- The sharing of information between the police and schools will allow early intervention and/or support by a key adult. This support, which may be overt or silent, will assist the child to remain in school to continue learning in a safe and secure environment.
- One phone call will share important information which could be vital to improve the child or young person’s life chances allowing professionals to appropriately respond to some of the warning signs that a child has been affected by a domestic abuse incident.
Domestic Abuse Support in Kent and Medway
This resource covers Kent and Medway and provides advice and information on services for victims, friends and family and perpetrators of Domestic Abuse.