Barnardos Domestic Violence:
Risk Assessment Model
By Claudette Malcolm
Barnardo’s Registered Charity Nos 216250 and SC037605
BARNARDOS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:
Risk Assessment Model
BACKGROUND:
 Adapted from a model used in Canada
 Piloted and used in Northern Ireland over the last 4
years
 Designed for Multi-agency frontline staff and Children
Services staff
 Enabling appropriate identification and assessment of
children and families exposed to domestic violence.
 Safety planning intervention.
 Based on previous domestic violence risk assessment,
child focus model with an awareness that to protect the
child/ren, protecting the non-abusing parent is crucial.
BARNARDOS DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE:
Risk Assessment Model
AIMS:
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To help children and young people stay safe and
healthy, that is to attain the objectives for
children outlined in Every Child Matters 2004.
and Children Act 1989
To increase the competence of Children
services professionals and Multi-agency staff
when dealing with domestic violence through a
training and mentoring package.
LESSIONS FROM SERIOUS
CASE REVIEWS IN LONDON
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DV contributory factor in 56% cases
Services frequently failed children and their
mothers
Failure to share information
Lack of holistic approach
Over optimism, absence of clear risk focus
Lack of clear framework for inter-agency working
in area of DV
BARNARDOS DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE:
Risk Assessment Model
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Endorsed by London Safeguarding Children
Board in it’s London procedure for consultation
‘Safeguarding Children Abused through
Domestic Violence’, viewed as a key
assessment tool in assessing the level of risk to
children who experience domestic violence.
It is currently being piloted in 3 London
Boroughs.
Evaluation by Martin Calder in May 2008.
BARNARDOS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:
Risk Assessment Model
This Model has three Tools:
1. Multi-agency Risk Identification scales
including Flow Chart with Guidance notes.
2. Core Assessment Tool: in-depth assessment
for Section 47 and 17.
3. Safety planning Tool: promoting safety
interventions for women and children
Multi-Agency Risk Identification
Threshold Scales
PURPOSE;
Designed for front-line multi-agency staff and children services staff to
enable screening/ identification of risk and to provide specific guidance for
the initiation of CAF and appropriate levels of intervention.
BENEFITS:
• Provides a consistent framework to assessing level of risk
• Increase safeguarding of children with greater informed decision making.
• ECM – children in families with domestic violence have additional needs –
CAF or Children service involvement.
• Greater focus on the needs of children and victims
• Greater support to staff dealing with domestic violence cases
Multi-Agency Risk Identification
Threshold Scales
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Threshold 1- Risk as moderate: Children and families with
additional needs – Completion of a CAF – single practitioner offering
targeted support
Threshold 2 – Risk as Moderate to serious: child/ren and families
with additional needs – Completion of a CAF – Lead Practitioner –
integrated support.
Threshold 3 – Serious – Child/ren and family in need – Section 17
– Initial assessment and family support
Threshold 4 – Severe – Child/ren in need of safeguarding: Section
47 enquiry – Core assessment
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Factors are grouped into three categories
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Evidence of domestic abuse
Risk Factors/Potential vulnerabilities
Protective factors
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Domestic Violence Core
Assessment Tool and Safety
planning Tool.
PURPOSE:
 Designed for Social workers and Senior
practitioner to enable a comprehensive
assessment of child/ren and families at scale 3
and 4 of the multi-agency threshold scale.
Covers 9 key areas
 Three day training which includes one day
training around safety planning for children and
non-abusing parents.
 Mentoring – supporting workers
Domestic violence and BMER
issues: some facts
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London is the most ethnically diverse city in the UK with 40% of
Londoners belonging to a minority ethnic group.
65% of children subject to serious case reviews were from a
minority ethnic community (Safeguarding London’s Children:
Review of London’s case reviews 2007)
Metropolitan Police, Operation Umbra reported that 60.6% of
domestic violence homicides during 2005-06 were BMER
women. Of the 33 homicides 27 were female and out of these
20 were from BMER communities)
Average age of Victims of forced marriage is between 16-20
years old with 1 in 4 victims being under 18yrs. 30% of ‘our
case’ are minors some as young as 10yrs. And this is a child
protection issue (Forced Marriage Unit June 2007)
Domestic violence and BMER
Incorporated within this domestic violence risk
assessment model is a greater emphasis on cultural
issue.
Barriers:
 Language, new immigrant, limited resources, racism &
discrimination etc – Scale 2
 Immigration constraint, no recourse to public fund ,
family honour, social ostracism – Scale 3
 House arrest, so-called honour based violence, force
marriage etc – Scale 4
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Further consultation and feedback
BARNARDOS DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE:
Risk Assessment Model
OUTCOMES:
 Increased staff awareness and understanding of the dynamics of DV
and the risks it poses for children, young people and victims
 An improvement in Social workers ability to respond more effectively
to domestic violence and assess risks to children and young people
 Increased safety measures for children and young people in families
where domestic violence occurs
 Non-abusing parent will be more aware of the risks posed by domestic
violence which can enable the non-abusing parent to keep themselves
and their children safer.
 More accurate risk assessments within core and initial assessment
processes
 More children will be identified requiring support.
 Children/ YP and the non-abusive parent will learn skills to keep
themselves safe
 Parallel domestic violence risk assessment process alongside adult
risk assessment– model matches up with MACRA, SPECCS and
CARDA assessment
BARNARDOS DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE:
Risk Assessment Model
Benefits for agency and staff :
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More comprehensive assessment of families
Provides a consistent framework to assessing level of risk
Increase safeguarding of children with greater informed decision
making.
Greater focus on the needs of children and victims
Offers holistic support to families
Greater support to staff dealing with domestic violence cases
It enhances the assessment process within CAF as a specific risk
assessment tool.
It supports the Governments objective within Every Child Matters
Maintains the focus of domestic violence as a main concern within
the assessment framework without marginalising any other
significant concern
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BARNARDOS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE