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Staffordshire Police has launched a project in partnership with local education authorities to safeguard and secure children who are experiencing domestic abuse.
Operation Encompass, which has launched today (Monday 1 February) is a police and education partnership which ensures that a child’s school is informed, prior to the start of the next school day, that there has been an incident of domestic abuse to which the child or young person has been exposed.
Each school is informed of all domestic abuse incidents, not just those where an offence can be identified or those which are graded as high risk. The partnership recognises that all incidents of domestic abuse can be harmful to children and young people.
The information from the police is passed via telephone call to the school’s designated safeguarding lead or their deputy (known as a key adult). This ensures the information is passed to someone who has the relevant safeguarding training and who understands who to manage confidential information in line with other child protection information.
All key adults have received virtual training which explains how the partnership works and the impact of domestic abuse, especially upon children and their ability to access education. This knowledge enables a school to offer support dependent upon the needs and wishes of the child.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Cooke, the force lead for domestic abuse, said: “Staffordshire Police is committed to safeguarding victims of domestic abuse and bringing perpetrators to justice. It is vital that we ensure children and families have a voice when suffering domestic abuse. I am really proud that we are launching Operation Encompass with our partners to provide children with a voice and access to support that they may need to keep them safe.
“Operation Encompass seeks to safeguard children where domestic abuse is prevalent in their families by ensuring support is available for them through their schools and local partnerships.”