Uniting to support more children affect by domestic abuse

In summer 2022, NIDAS along with other partner organisations worked together to produce information for the Home Office CADA (children affected by domestic abuse) funding. We were thrilled to hear later in the year that The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire successfully secured £1m to provide specialist support for children and young people (CYP) affected by domestic abuse living within the county.

Children feeling freedom from abuse

The hard work of all the agencies paid off, ensuring that children and young people have access to the support they need to recover from harm and go on to lead fulfilling lives. This bid was a great example of a united partnership working at its best with the main domestic abuse providers in Nottinghamshire coming together to develop this winning bid.

JUNO Women’s Aid, NIDAS, Equation, IMARA, Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid and We are Here, met weekly to develop ideas of what our children and young people wanted and needed to support their recovery. It was fantastic to see a collaboration of like-minded organisations working in unity with the same end goal – when working together, we are stronger.

What will the funding provide?

The success of this bid funding has enabled the partners to now offer:

  • Early Years Specialist training and resources
  • Ontario Model – Domestic Abuse Recovering Together (DART), Stronger Families, and Hands Are Not For Hurting
  • Psycho Educational Support and Training in Schools
  • Creative Therapies
  • Specialist role to capture the voice of the child

The projects build on existing support services and programmes to increase capacity, as well as providing innovative ways to support CYP.

Proud and thrilled

NIDAS were proud to be a part of the bids development and thrilled to receive funding from the CADA fund. This funding is currently supporting the delivery of the DART (Domestic Abuse Recovering Together) programme. DART forms a partnership approach with other providers under the Ontario Model.

Juno Women’s Aid are currently delivering ‘Stronger Families’, Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid are delivering ‘Hands are not for Hurting’, and NIDAS and IMARA are delivering the DART programme.

DART – Domestic Abuse Recovering Together

All the programmes differ slightly but overall have the same outcomes, which are to support and strengthen the mother-child relationship, improve mental wellbeing, and increase confidence and self-esteem of both mother and child. The DART programme is for mothers and children (aged 7-14) who have experienced domestic abuse. Over a 10-week programme, they explore their issues within a safe and friendly environment, promoting openness and honesty, giving them the opportunity to talk, learn and understand domestic abuse.

Creative Therapies

In addition to the funding for DART, NIDAS were provided funds to deliver Art Therapy to CYP until the end of March 2023. As an established Art Therapy service, we are hoping to have supported between 20-30 children and young people during the time we have had to provide Art Therapy.

Our Art Therapy is for children and young people age 5-25 who have been affected by domestic abuse. It can help them to work through experiences that they might find difficult to put into words by utilising the creative process to help them to explore self-expression. The process is client-led with an art therapist who supports the art-making experience, which can provide a focus for discussion, helping the client reflect and make sense of behaviours and emotions.

NIDAS, CEO, Sarah Dagley comments: “We were delighted to receive the additional funding to support the delivery of the DART programme and increase capacity for our Art Therapy service. At NIDAS, one of the most important aspects of the work that we do is to ensure that those affected by domestic abuse have the best opportunity to rebuild their lives after abuse. Both projects support that and ensure that children and young people have access to the support they need to increase opportunity and better outcomes for them in the future. The funding has also provided a great opportunity to work together in partnership with the other providers to increase the provision in Nottingham, which is something I am very proud of. A lot of work went into this bid and that hard work paid off.”

Referrals to CADA programmes

Referrals to access CADA programmes and services offered by the partners can be made by parents and carers to ensure that they get the support they need for their child and their family. Professionals, such as schools, social workers and support workers can refer women and children that they are working with.

To discuss a referral for the NIDAS DART or Art Therapy programmes, please call 01623 683 250 or email [email protected].