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Domestic Abuse and Child Welfare

The impact of domestic abuse on adult and child victims can be devastating and long lasting. However, too often parents who have experienced domestic abuse, feel that they are further punished by a child welfare system that blames them for failing to protect their child but neither engages nor holds the perpetrator of the abuse to account.

Two in every three mothers (68%) advised by our advice service in 2018/19 stated that domestic abuse was a reason why children’s services were involved with their family. This is a significant increase. In 2007/08 fewer than one in five mothers said domestic abuse was a factor.

This vlog by our Chief Executive, Cathy Ashley asks whether placing the responsibility on mothers for failing to protect, and then possibly removing their child, is the right response for the adult victim or the child?

Knowledge Inquiry on Domestic Abuse: Developing Good Practice Principles for Children’s Social Care

Our Knowledge Inquiry on Domestic Abuse aims to develop principles for good practice for children’s social care services. The principles are being developed in partnership with children, mothers, fathers, wider family members, practitioners, managers, commissioners and academics. Our ambition is that this will deliver respectful, effective work with families that safeguards children, recognises the needs and wishes of adult and child victims, including their safety and holds perpetrators to account.

Mary Ryan and Robert Tapsfield are carrying out this work for Family Rights Group. The Knowledge Inquiry report will be published in 2021.

If you would like to be involved or contribute to the Inquiry, please email pledward@frg.org.uk.

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