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The pathfinders and modernisation: Working towards a regional approach to the delivery of domestic abuse housing services Ann Dann, North Wales Supporting People Julie Nicholas, Gwent Supporting People. In partnership with.

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The pathfinders and modernisation: Working towards a regional approach to the delivery of domestic abuse housing services Ann Dann, North Wales Supporting PeopleJulie Nicholas, Gwent Supporting People

In partnership with


Thepathfinders and modernisation: Working towards a regional approach to delivering domestic abuse housing services

Cymorth Cymru; Nuts & Bolts of Domestic Abuse

Llandrindod Wells, 02.02.2011

Ann Dann; North Wales Supporting People

Julie Nicholas; Gwent Supporting People

  • The National Project Initiation Document
    • Research and findings 2009
    • The National Project Structure
  • The Gwent Pilot Group
  • The North Wales Working Group
project initiation document
Project Initiation Document
  • Background
    • SPIN/Homeless Network identified Domestic Abuse as priority area for reducing/preventing homelessness in Wales
  • 3 x Regional events held 2009
    • Homelessness & Supporting People Teams, DA Coordinators & Support providers attended
  • Further research then undertaken
  • PID: Published January 2010
    • Modernising Housing Services for those

Experiencing Domestic Abuse

the research methodology
The Research Methodology
  • Map supply of existing DA Support services
  • Listen to women who have been through system
    • 74 women’s ‘journeys’ were submitted in total
  • Additional interviews with professionals:
    • BAWSO, Hafan Cymru & Womens Aid
    • Housing Options staff
    • North Wales Police
    • Domestic abuse support unit
    • Social Workers
support service supply map
Support Service Supply Map
  • Most LAs have Refuge provision
  • Floating Support available in many L.A.’s
    • Dedicated DA or Generic service
  • Supporting People Revenue Grant
    • D.A. funding £8.14m p.a.
  • Variety of funding levels & resources
    • Developed ad hoc locally
  • Voids in refuges nationally
    • 50% x refuges over 10%; 6 x refuges over 20%
    • Is ‘emergency’ refuge offering ‘emergency’ provision & meeting needs?
service user interviews refuge
Service User Interviews: Refuge
  • Majority interviewed initially placed in refuge
    • Few problems reported with access
    • out of hours- some access difficulties
    • Women generally placed in local refuge
    • Same day & usually within hours of making call
  • Most of them were still placed within a week
  • But 1 woman waiting 4 weeks for refuge space
  • Refuge not meeting needs
    • 1 woman, 4 children, 1 room, 6 months
  • Issues Accessing Move-on accommodation
  • Complex needs; Few options
s user interviews homelessness
S. User Interviews: Homelessness
  • LA advice services are inconsistent:
  • “Homelessness were unable to find temp. accommodation for a woman who wished to leave family home, the woman commented that left her with no choice but to go home. The homeless officer said ‘well it can’t be that bad then’“
  • “Ms B found the whole experience of applying for housing … personally difficult & stated that she found the way she was treated depended on who dealt with her at the LA”.
  • “Homeless Officer came to the refuge to do the homeless interview. She found the Homeless Officer very good and respectful of her situation.”
s user interviews support delivery
S. User Interviews: Support Delivery
  • The women interviewed were generally positive about the support provided :
  • “SJ stayed in refuge for 6 months and found the support that she received whilst in refuge invaluable, both from the support workers and from the other women.”
  • “I was an emotional wreck… the staff helped me reach my goals. They made me feel proud”
  • “A fantastic support during her time of need”
  • “The Freedom Programme helped the most”
research findings
Research Findings
  • Current supply developed ad-hoc in Wales
    • Uneven distribution & generic model
    • Void issues
    • Complex Needs & Exclusions
  • Questioned how services are currently configured
  • Issues with L.A. homelessness service
  • Feedback on support services positive
    • Incl. mutual support of other women
  • Refuge appropriate short-term, but not long-term
  • Allocation systems post-refuge work against positive outcome
report recommendations
Report Recommendations
  • Homelessness staff- Training requirements
  • Accommodation should be high quality & varied:
    • Existing (own) accommodation; Target harden
    • Emergency Accommodation; Refuge
    • Temporary / supported accommodation
    • Move On accommodation
  • Ensure range of appropriate & accessible support services are available to service users
    • Complex Needs & Children/young people
  • Improve partnership working
modernising domestic abuse services national project structure in wales

Project Board

Project Working Group

Additional measures

e.g. workshops

Service User group

Other Actions/Evaluation sub-group

Gwent Pilot Group

N. Wales Working Group

West Wales Pilot

Cardiff & Vale Pilot

Modernising Domestic Abuse Services: National Project Structure in Wales
principles of the project
Principles of the Project
  • Partnership working;
    • Project Board includes Supporting People, WAG, Support Providers, Community Safety
    • Focus on BME and minority group needs
  • Service User Consultation integral
  • Better use of resources to address service gaps
  • Regional Approach
    • Best approach for complex & specialist needs
  • Project Board/Working Group to Monitor & Evaluate
    • Timeframe April 2010- March 2012
gwent domestic abuse pilot group

Gwent Domestic Abuse Pilot Group

Julie Nicholas

Gwent Supporting People

Regional Development Officer

supporting people the gwent model
Supporting People: ‘The Gwent Model’
  • History of Regional SP Working since 2003
  • Strategic Planning: GNME and regional SPOP
  • Service Evaluation: Gwent Review & Monitoring
  • SP Eligibility Criteria: ‘Gwent Allowable Activities’
  • Gwent SP Regional Planning Group since 2008
  • Gwent Development Officer Post
  • Gwent DA Pilot Group first met Sept 2010
    • Training and service user sub-groups
    • Links to Gwent DA Forum
current gwent da services
Current Gwent DA Services

Support Units

Refuge: 49

Floating Support: 117

Support Housing: 6

Total Units: 172

the national strategy says
The National Strategy says:
  • ‘…the Welsh Assembly Government recognises that the option of staying in the home will not always be available and that in many instances victims will continue to require a networkof support services including: advocacy, temporary accommodation, refuge provision and counseling.’

Tackling Domestic Abuse: The All Wales National Strategy, Welsh Assembly Government:2005

  • However very little specialist supported housing options in Gwent, other than generic refuge and floating support
gwent pilot group
Gwent Pilot Group
  • Membership
    • Gwent DA Providers
    • DA Co-ordinators
    • SP Representatives
    • Service User Group
  • Progress:
    • Action Plan in place
    • Link to PID action areas
    • Agreed local remodelling through group
    • Homelessness Staff Training Progress
    • Service User group established
gwent action plan
Gwent Action Plan
  • Training & Inter-Agency Working Opportunities
  • Accommodation Standards & Target-Hardening
  • Children\'s Services: Supply & Utilisation
  • Improve Communication
  • Support Service Survey in progress
    • Refusals/exclusions/evictions/complex needs
    • Cross Authority access & destination
    • Length of stay & Demographic information
  • What should Gwent supply map look like?
service user links
Service User Links
  • Service User Group
    • Initial meeting October 10:
    • Feedback to group on research findings
    • Assess interest in participation
    • Good turn out
    • 6 volunteers for further meetings
  • 2nd Meeting (South Wales)
    • Training and development
    • Participation in Homelessness officer training
gwent s users on statutory services
Gwent S. Users on Statutory Services
  • Homelessness Services:
  • ‘I found them very abrupt…They didn’t want to know’
  • ‘I’ve seen them having to deal with difficult people & I know it’s not easy, but they tar us all with the same brush; we’re all seen as problem families’
  • ‘I wasn’t believed; you should be believed straight away’
  • Social Services:
  • ‘They don’t look at the bigger picture, they focus on the kids not on the woman, they don’t understand the pressure the woman is under’.
  • ‘They don’t give appropriate support’
  • Feedback about Police Service very positive
gwent s users on support agencies
Gwent S. Users on Support Agencies
  • ‘Not much service for the kids… that was very hard’
  • ‘The Freedom Programme is really important’
  • ‘Lots of people don’t want to go into refuge’
  • ‘I worried about who was going to be there, [in refuge], you hear about people on drugs living in these places’
  • ‘First few weeks in refuge were like respite for me’
  • ‘I get support for my children…definitely helpful’
  • ‘I didn’t really care about the [lack of] space; I was safe in a big room with my kids’
  • ‘Intensive services should come to refuge; not the woman [having to] move out to them’
s user feedback housing access
S. User Feedback: Housing Access
  • No positive experiences of move-on from refuge.
  • ‘Need more floating support for when you leave refuge’
  • ‘There’s the children and school transfer issues too’
  • ‘I can’t afford to top up my rent…& you need a bond’
  • ‘You are not in a long term tenancy in private rented housing; you might have to move again soon’
  • ‘I was told I would have to go wherever I was offered, the children would have to move school again, I would have to leave the friends I’d made in the area, start over’
  • ‘I felt dumped in a bad area’

Link to Homeless leasing

Service User Group

Links to Kafka findings

Homeless Agency Worker Training

Regional Approach

Specialist Service Expertise

Joint Working opportunities

D.A. multi-agency centres


Protection of existing services

Revenue Funding

Accessing Capital Funding

Difficulty in mapping funding & costs

Could be perceived as back-door cost-saving exercise

next steps in gwent
Next Steps in Gwent
  • Complete Gap Analysis
    • Findings will feed into regional preferred model
  • Take forward Action Plan
  • Identify Current Service Remodel options
  • Harness Capital Opportunities
  • Develop Service User Group
  • Deliver Homelessness training
  • Remodel Approval via SPRPG
cymorth cymru the nuts bolts of providing domestic abuse services north wales s p perspective

Cymorth Cymru: The Nuts & Bolts of Providing Domestic Abuse Services North Wales S.P. Perspective

Ann Dann

North Wales Supporting People Regional Development Officer


This presentation will cover:

  • Journey Tracking
  • Commissioning Paper
  • Current Supply Picture
  • Challenges
  • Future Plans
journey tracking
Journey Tracking
  • Background
  • Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire – 10 service users
  • Agencies - BAWSO, Hafan Cymru, Women’s Aid
  • Interviewed - Frontline staff, individuals, agencies
commissioning paper
Commissioning Paper
  • Background
  • Content
  • Action Plan
  • High voids in some refuges
  • Complex Needs
  • Development of Regional Schemes
  • Move On
  • Budget Cuts
  • S.P. Review
action plan
Action Plan
  • Expand amount of dispersed & self contained refuge provision
  • Training for refuge staff re high needs clients
  • Develop a Move On strategy
  • Ensure services are available for all groups
  • Look to develop common referral/assessment


partnership approach
Partnership Approach
  • National D.A. Project Group
  • National D.A. Working Group
  • North Wales Working Group
  • Service User Group
  • Training Package
regional links
Regional Links