More than 800 Northamptonshire families have received support from commissioner's project for early intervention in domestic conflicts

The scheme includes advice and guidance on a range of issues such as domestic abuse, healthy relationships, parenting, online safety and more

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 2:50 pm

A new project set up by the Northamptonshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner to provide early intervention in domestic conflicts has provided support to more than 800 families.

The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) team was launched in February 2019.

It has since supported 830 families and a total of 1,541 children and young people have benefited from family and individual support.

The project aims to help families in a range of areas.
The project aims to help families in a range of areas.

This includes advice and guidance on a range of issues such as domestic abuse, healthy relationships, parenting, online safety, mental health of the parent or young person, substance misuse, parenting issues and school exclusions.

An update is provided in the Northamptonshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner's Annual Report 2020-21 which was presented by commissioner Stephen Mold at The Guildhall, Northampton, on Thursday (June 17).

It states that during the lockdown periods the ACE team received fewer referrals from schools. However, referrals for support increased when schools reopened.

The team worked throughout the pandemic supporting families by phone, video conferencing and, when permitted, meeting a young person in school or in an agreed safe outdoor area.

To date, 62 percent of the 39 families contacted have provided feedback of which 96 percent were happy with the support and 83 percent confirmed their family was in a better place.

Other project highlights were that 67 percent of families saw an improvement in school attendance and 75 percent had no further police callouts since direct support from the ACE team.

The report goes on to state that in January 2021, two domestic abuse (DA) support officers were established to help people who have received a police officer call out for an incident assessed as 'standard' low level domestic/family conflict.

During this time, 272 incidents were assessed as suitable and allocated to be supported by the DA ACE team (includes supporting 458 children) of which 60 per cent of cases were offered advice and assessed as not needing further support.

20 percent were referred to specialist services for further support.

The team has also referred some families to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) after gathering further information and assessing the risks.

The report states: "This project has been put together in response to the growing number of police callouts for domestic/family conflict related incidents unlikley to result in prosecution.

"The Early Intervention Domestic Abuse ACE Practitioners contact every family who have had the police respond to a standard grade domestic incident within 48 hours.

"The practitioners have extensive knowledge and experience of supporting victims, perpetrators, children and young people who have witnessed or experienced domestic abuse and work in the same way as the rest of the ACE team uncovering the underlying reason for the incident."

The report goes on to state: "My office now has the skills and experience to provide a much-needed service that will meet the needs of couples and families who, without some support are highly likely to come into contact with Northamptonshire Police and ultimately may enter the criminal justice system."