The Ministry of Justice (MOJ), under s.83(1) of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, has researched whether individuals who use contact centres in England are protected from the risk of domestic abuse or, in the case of children, such other harm (here).
The key findings demonstrated that contact centres provide an important service by enabling thousands of parents/carers to have contact with their children safely; it also found that there is scope to improve both emotional safeguarding and the provision of specialist domestic abuse training for staff.
Concerningly, only 11% of surveyed contact centre staff and volunteers had received specialist domestic abuse training over the last 12 months. This highlights the need for a system-wide approach to safeguarding adults and children from the risk of domestic abuse and other harm.
Resultingly, the evidence-based recommendations from the research included:
- All contact centre staff and volunteers to have robust, mandatory safeguarding and domestic abuse training;
- Ensure a system-wide approach to risk assessment and management, including providing specialist support for parents/carers and children, is implemented;
- Establish processes to centre the voice and experience of the child and parent/carer at all stages;
- Establish mechanisms to support and develop the role of contact centres in families’ multi-agency risk assessment at a local level;
- Improve consistency across contract centre practices and policies by sharing best practices; and
- Review funding and investment into contact centres to enable accessible and affordable provision across England.
If you would like to discuss how contact centres can help facilitate contact between yourself, and your children or the other parent and the children please contact us for a 30-minute free video chat, web chat or telephone call to start the conversation and to see how we can help. We are available 24/7 through the following platforms:
Telephone: 0345 222 0452