There is local demand for a range of proven interventions that improve outcomes for families facing domestic abuse. Newham NewDAy was designed to help meet some of this demand.
There is interest in programmes that provide support to children and young people, victims-survivors, users of abuse, and the whole family, and are structured in a way that tackles barriers to take-up. There are benefits to interventions that operate in multiple domains, for example the home, school, and community, and that take non-judgemental, consent-based approaches. In parallel, there is also concern amongst some stakeholders working with families (for example some social workers) about safeguarding and management or risk. As a result, making the case for such approaches requires ongoing work, especially providing clear and robust guidance to all partners about the safe management of risk and how an approach like NewDAy fits into the spectrum of support for families facing domestic abuse.
The challenges faced by families experiencing domestic abuse are often longstanding, entrenched, and complex. Developing a model for intervention requires a robust analysis of need, significant time, substantial investment of resources, and room to adapt in light of lessons learned. It also requires a clear understanding of the model of practice and the theory of change.
A highly-skilled, multi-disciplinary team providing intensive support to individuals, couples, and whole families in partnership with other professionals (such as social workers and school staff) can facilitate a reduction in risk, increased emotional and social wellbeing, and improved educational attainment (i.e. about 6 months). A longer period is needed to assess whether this change is sustainable in the long term.
To be effective, domestic abuse interventions need to be operating in a wider environment which is stable, well-functioning, and effectively led. Without this, there is a risk of low referrals, low take-up, and high attrition, as well as slow adoption of effective practice within mainstream social work and other practice.
Careful consideration should be given to ensuring effective governance arrangements. The right balance needs to be struck between involving the full range of partners to reflect the multi-faceted impact of domestic abuse, and ensuring governance is manageable. Clarity is needed from the outset about respective roles and responsibilities.
The cost-benefit analysis shows that over the course of one year, NewDAy saves 72% through reducing service use compared to a historical comparison group (n=74). When the running costs of NewDAy are factored in, NewDAy is operating at a net cost of 15% per year. A longer period would be needed to assess whether this impact is sustained in the long term.
You can download a full copy of our report below. Newham NewDAy was part of the Department for Education's Children's Social Care Innovation Programme.