Working to safeguard children
Operation Encompass Booklet
The Operation Encompass officer will inform the ‘Key Adults’, prior to the commencement of the school day, of the following information:
- The fact that the police were called out in the last 24 hours, during school term week days (or if the incident was over the weekend, the school will be informed on the Monday) to a domestic abuse incident and a child was present, witnessed or was involved in it
- The police reference number
- The time and date of the incident
- Brief circumstances surrounding the event
- The name and date of birth of any child from that school who was present, witnessed or was involved in the incident when it took place, and
- Any other relevant safeguarding information that may assist the school to provide early intervention support to the child being referred.
Domestic abuse impacts on children in a number of ways. Children are at increased risk of physical injury during an incident, either by accident or because they attempt to intervene.
Even when not directly injured, children are greatly distressed by witnessing the physical and emotional suffering of a parent.
Domestic abuse also affects children because it impacts on parenting capacity. Exposure to physical, psychological and emotional abuse has profound negative effects on mental health resulting in a loss of confidence, depression, feelings of degradation, problems with sleep, isolation and increased use of medication and alcohol. These are factors that can restrict the parent’s capacity to meet the developmental needs of the child.
In Cleveland, between 1st November 2013 and 31st October 2014, 11,148 domestic abuse incidents were risk assessed by the police. In Hartlepool during the same period, 2134 such incidents were recorded and of these, children under the age of 18 years were linked to 992 (46.49%) of them.
The aim of sharing information with local schools is to allow ‘Key Adults’ the opportunity of engaging with the child and to provide access to support that allows them to remain in a safe but secure familiar learning environment.
Each school day domestic abuse incidents from the last 24-hours (or in the case of incidents which occurred over the weekend, every Monday) will be reviewed and where it is identified that a child between the age of two and eighteen years was present, witnessed or was involved in such abuse, the police will contact the ‘Key Adult’ in the school that child attends.
Each school will be responsible for identifying ‘Key Adults’, with whom domestic abuse information can be shared, and for providing up to date contact details for that person. Where the nominated ‘Key Adult’ is absent, for whatever reason, the schools will ensure a deputy is identified and they will inform the Operation Encompass Officer of that person and their contact details.
All schools in Hartlepool have agreed to participate in Operation Encompass. This includes state and independent schools, academies and alternative education providers.
Operation Encompass will initially commence in the Hartlepool area on April 1st 2015 and will be rolled out to the other 3 Local Authority areas covered by Cleveland Police by April 2016.