BASW England releases new Domestic Abuse Guidance for social workers

BASW England has published new guidance for child and family social workers supporting victim-survivors of domestic abuse.

The pandemic has seen a 61 per cent increase in calls and contacts, according to Refuge.

BASW England notes that the increased demand for support coincides with severe cuts to domestic abuse services, with 86.7 per cent having experienced one or more financial impact/s as a result of Covid-19.

The guide was developed in collaboration with stakeholders including Women's Aid, Galop, Southall Black Sisters, Sign Health, Karma Nirvana, Respect, AVA, Ann Craft Trust, Dr Michaela Rogers at the University of Sheffield, as well as people with lived experience and BASW members.

An 'intersectional approach' is adopted throughout the guide, which 'recognises the interconnecting forms of oppression on survivor's identities and lived experience of abuse and services'. Such factors include race, age, religion, culture, immigration status, deafness, disability, LGBT+ rights, mental health, multiple disadvantage (including substance use and addiction) and poverty.

The guide aims to provide social workers with a trauma-informed understanding of patterns of domestic abuse within the above groups, as well as best practice and current research.

The Domestic Abuse Bill went to the Commons for consideration of Lords amendments on Thursday 15 April 2021. The Commons disagreed with the Lords amendments and have therefore returned the Bill to the Lords with Reasons. As legislation changes, this guide will be routinely updated to keep it up to date.

For the guide, click here.