The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) and The For Baby’s Sake Trust have co-produced a domestic abuse toolkit for health visitors, which was launched on 14 May 2021 with training for Health Visitor Domestic Abuse Ambassadors.
This new, interactive, online resource toolkit and training package, Changing Conversations – Domestic Abuse’ sits on the iHV’s online learning platform. The aim is to equip health visitors to empower parents to recognise domestic abuse and draw on support. Its title reflects the recognition that it can be challenging for both parents and professionals to open up conversations about domestic abuse. There can be barriers such as professionals not feeling confident to talk about domestic abuse or parents feeling shame or worry about the consequences of disclosure.
The For Baby’s Sake Trust had received Community Match Challenge Funding, originating from the Department for Digital, Culture, Communities and Sport, to contribute to COVID recovery through outreach communications initiatives about domestic abuse, reaching expectant and new parents. This funding recognised that expectant and new parents, and babies during the first 1001 days from pregnancy until age two, are a high-risk and high-prevalence cohort for domestic abuse.
The Trust decided to partner with the iHV to create new resources for health visitors. This builds on longstanding partnership working between the Trust and the iHV and reflects the iHV’s positioning as a UK centre of excellence, supporting high quality health visiting practice, in the context of health visiting as the universal service with a unique universal remit to reach all babies and their parents.
The Changing Conversations – Domestic Abuse toolkit uses the image of a ‘village’, with resources (including someFor Baby’s Sake creative content) located in different areas (eg home, cinema, park, library). It includes new recorded talks by experts, including one by a health visitor with lived experience of domestic abuse.
The toolkit was launched through a training webinar, attended by around 50 health visitors from around the country who are now ‘Health Visitor Changing Conversations – Domestic Abuse Ambassadors’. They will be cascading the learning, as the first stage of a plan to upskill health visitors across the country and open up the ‘village’ to them, once they have undertaken ‘gateway’ training. Feedback from the webinar indicates the difference this is set to make:
- 100% of respondents felt they had an increased understanding of the importance of early intervention and support for families throughout their journey – and would recommend the webinar introducing the toolkit to colleagues
Some comments – Which part of the launch event was most beneficial and why?
- “Toolkit – clear and concise with excellent tips for practice”
- “Online toolkit – seems accessible and easy to use”
- “Toolkit looks great and really easy to use”
Longer feedback/other comments included:
- “I think the resources and toolkit look fantastic and user-friendly. I am really looking forward to being able to make use of them with families and colleagues”
- “Excellent and inspiring session. Good to hear more about trauma-informed care, Adverse Childhood Experiences and epigenetics. Thank you to all trainers and presenters”
The Institute of Health Visiting and The For Baby’s Sake Trust will continue to work together to keep the toolkit updated and to offer periodic training and insights briefings to health visitors on domestic abuse, in addition to the cascading of the training and resources by health visitors themselves, led by the Health Visitor Domestic Abuse – Changing Conversations Ambassadors.