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Children’s Centres: Domestic Violence

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 29 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will issue guidance to children's centres on increasing awareness of domestic violence. (252855)

The Sure Start Children’s Centres Practice Guidance already highlights families experiencing domestic violence among those groups of families that find it hardest to access the services they need. It encourages centres to ensure that parents or other family members have access to appropriate support and to offer assistance through referral to helplines and counselling, or informal group support sessions, held at the centre itself. The guidance also provides details of the 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline and the Men’s Advice Line and Enquiries (MALE) which provides support for men in abusive relationships.

The Government recognise the strong links between child protection concerns and domestic violence and stresses the need for awareness of those links in its inter-agency guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2006)’ which is available to all organisations working with, or who come into contact with children, including Sure Start Children’s Centres.