How we work with children, young people and their families

We use age appropriate art, play and other activities to enable children to safely share their experience of violence and to understand, manage and share their concerns, feelings, strengths, goals and needs.

We focus on a child, young person and family's strengths to build resilience and reduce stress.

We help parents re-establish routines and age appropriate boundaries, often disrupted due to violence in the home.

We help parents and other adults (e.g. teachers) in a child and young person's life understand child behaviour and distress as normal reactions to abnormal events (trauma) so they can support their recovery.

We work jointly with a child or young person and their parent to strengthen their relationship, often undermined by violence in the home.

We help children and young people explore and understand what healthy and respectful relationships are and where you can get help if you don’t feel safe.

We help parents understand how domestic violence has impacted upon their child and their relationship with them.

We help parents resolve feelings of guilt and blame; which they may feel in spite of doing what they could to protect themselves and their children from their partner's violence.

We offer support and advocacy to help families manage the associated stressors of domestic violence and abuse such as police investigations, court responses, child custody and contact, loss of family, friends, pets and financial stress.


Each family is assigned a Domestic Abuse Recovery Practitioner.

Weekly sessions with a child or young person take place where they feel most comfortable; this may be in school, at home or somewhere safe in the community. 

Parents tell us:

My son is much better in school and at home.

He (my son) believes more in himself. He gives me cuddles.

Children tell us:

(I) feel better at home, not so angry with my mum and actually see her feelings when I'm angry.

I now find it easier to talk to other people.

My behaviour has changed and I am nicer to my friends.

I enjoyed making the stress ball and learning to breathe like the angry octopus.

We offer the following group programmes for children and their parents as part of our "whole family" service. This ensures an integrated approach to recovery for the non-abusive parent and child (ren). Referrals are accepted through Early Help.

Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together (DART)

Developed and licensed by the NSPCC

Helping Hands

Developed by Women's' Aid

For children aged 7-14 years For children aged 4-10 years

SAFE is a licensed provider of the DART programme developed by the NSPCC.

This 10 week programme provides opportunities for children and parents to do activities together, and in separate parent and child groups. Some aims of the activities include to:

  • rebuild and strengthen the parent/child relationship
  • have fun together
  • learn how to talk about what has happened and their feelings respectfully
  • meet other mums and children who have lived through similar experiences

A protective behaviour course designed to support children who have been affected by abuse. Some of the aims are to:

  • build self-esteem and confidence
  • explore and express different feelings
  • encourage children to seek help when needed
  • help children identify safe adults they can turn to
  • develop skills to manage feelings, conflict, solve problems and make positive choices


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Our Children and Families services are supported by BBC Children In Need.