Practice Implications

    Response to families where there was domestic violence or substance misuse

    Police and health were the main sources of referral

    The volume of referrals from the police concerning domestic violence was sometimes overwhelming for social care agencies

    Parents were not always informed of the referral – though the police and health usually did inform the families of the referral

    A quarter of the sample children were living in families where there were both domestic violence and parental substance misuse

    Parenting capacity was severely affected in 71% in these particular families

    Less than half the initial assessments were completed in the required time

    While some, as one would expect, led to no further action, three quarters of the cases resulted in some service delivery – in some cases a range of services

    Following an initial assessment, one in five cases where there was evidence of domestic violence was referred to a domestic violence team, and over a quarter where there was evidence of parental substance misuse were referred to services for substance misuse

    A core assessment was carried out in just over a quarter of the cases.

    What improves the chances of effective inter-agency practice?

    Understanding and respecting the roles and responsibilities of other services

    Good communication

    Regular contact and meetings

    Common priorities

    Joint training

    Knowing what services are available and whom to contact

    Clear guidelines and procedures for working together

    What would make a difference to parents?

    Paying attention to ensuring that families understand what is happening and consult them through the process of assessment planning and review

     A more honest, open and respectful approach

    Longer-term service provision

    Linking effectively with other service providers.


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