Expert Support Services: Supporting survivors with complex needs
Specialist domestic abuse services provide a level of expertise that offers a crucial understanding of domestic abuse and its impact. They are often engaged with survivors for a longer period than other agencies, and are most likely to come into contact with the survivors who are in most need of support. Yet due to poor commissioning practices and funding cuts, they are often restricted to supporting survivors who are considered ‘high’ risk and for only a short period of time. This means that they cannot give survivors the long-term support they need.
The ultimate aim of the Expert Support scheme is to support survivors to achieve independence, defined as:
The Expert Support scheme builds upon the emerging evidence from a pilot delivered by My Sisters Place. This pilot shows that a trauma-informed approach achieved significant positive benefits for the survivors involved. The Expert Support scheme will offer training to front-line practitioners working for dedicated domestic abuse services, and focuses on reconnecting domestic abuse services with a needs-led, strengths-based, trauma-informed response.
Women’s Aid will provide the resources and training, along with assessment, support planning and monitoring tools. These correspond to our case management and outcomes system, On Track. We will develop and test resources and a framework in a range of settings and geographical areas that will enable domestic abuse services to effectively support survivors facing multiple disadvantages.