Updated: Feb 3
Find out more about the DV-ACTION one to one treatment programme for perpetrators of domestic abuse.
DV-ACTION Bespoke programmes offers a structured, tailored domestic abuse prevention programme (DAPP) delivered by trained, experienced domestic abuse treatment practitioners. Sessions take place remotely using video call technology (with Zoom or similar) so it is available for parents anywhere in the UK.
What is a DAPP?
DAPP's are structured programmes of work that give perpetrators the opportunity to change their behaviour towards their past/present intimate partner. The programmes aim to reduce the perpetrator's violence and abuse towards their intimate partners and improve the safety of children by:
encouraging perpetrators to move to a point where they can take responsibility for their abusive behaviour and make positive steps to change their behaviour,
increasing perpetrators awareness and understanding of domestic abuse and assisting them in applying this to their own behaviour,
Increasing perpetrators understanding of the effects that their abusive behaviour can have on their intimate partners and their children,
teaching perpetrators to use non-controlling behaviour strategies in their relationships,
providing support and information to known previous and current partners in order to manage expectations, inform safety planning and signpost to suitable resources.
DV-ACT experts have decades of experience in creating and delivering perpetrator programmes and have used that experience to create bespoke treatment packages for parents in child protection measures and/or in court proceedings.
What does the DV-ACTION programme include?
The DV-ACTION programme includes:
18 one to one sessions with a trained and experienced treatment worker
An offer of free confidential support to current/previous partners
Sessions delivered remotely using Zoom or similar
The option to tailor the programme sessions to the needs of the client and to address the concerns of the local authority/courts
A full final report completed by an expert risk assessor that can be used in court proceedings.
Please note that all client's will first need to attend a suitability assessment if they have not completed a risk assessment with DV-ACT.
Who is the treatment programme for?
Traditionally DAPPs in the UK have taken place in a groupwork face to face setting, however, the pandemic has made remote sessions more viable giving an opportunity to those who are unable to access group work programmes the option of completing work on a one to one basis from home.
The parent may be unable to attend a group work programme due to a number of reasons such as a lack of provision in the area, language difficulties, they are a female perpetrator, in a same-sex relationship or the length of the waiting list at other providers puts the intervention outside of the children's timescales. The programme is designed to work with parents in the UK where the family court or local authority has concerns regarding the risk of harm to children due to domestic abuse and is suitable for perpetrators who are parents and:
accept that at least some of their behaviour is/has been abusive
have some motivation to change their behaviour
are willing to attend and complete the full programme
have completed a risk assessment which recommends the programme
do not have any pending criminal proceedings for domestic abuse
are not already attending a programme with probation.
We can work with; those that need a translator; female perpetrators; parents in court proceedings; those currently in a relationship and separated parents.
Why is there suitability criteria?
Completion of a programme on its own does not necessarily reduce the risk that is posed to the victim and child/ren it can, in fact, have the potential to increase the risks in the case, particularly if professionals and the courts consider that the risks are being managed by a programme and so de-escalate the case without reviewing the effectiveness of the intervention via a final report. It is for this reason that DV-ACTION programmes have suitability criteria for perpetrators. We also strongly advise that no decisions regarding child contact are made until after receipt of a positive final report. For further information on the efficacy of DAPPs please visit our post Can Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programmes Really Change Behaviour?
You can receive a quick view on whether a client is likely to be suitable here.
What topics are covered in the programme?
As the programme is delivered on a one to one basis, there can be a particular focus on specific areas of concern raised by the courts or to meet the requirements of the child protection plan. However, the programme will cover all the topics usually delivered within a DAPP including:
Strategies for reducing violence,
Analysing feelings and behaviour,
Motivation to change,
Power and control,
Sexual respect and intimacy,
Positive self talk,
Attitudes towards women.
How is the programme delivered?
The programme consists of 18 sessions delivered on a one-to-one basis by an experienced domestic abuse treatment worker. Further sessions can be added if required at the discretion of the treatment worker. Sessions will then take place weekly with an additional session towards the end of the programme where the expert assessor will meet with the client in order to complete the final assessment report. The length of time that the programme takes is decided on a case by case basis and depends upon the needs of the client and whether a report is required urgently for court proceedings. The programme would usually take 20 weeks to complete, however, any filing dates given will depend upon attendance. A final report will be provided 2 weeks after completion.
Why do you support current/expartners?
It is best practice in the field of perpetrator work that support is offered to current and/or ex-partners of perpetrators that attend a programme. This includes; signposting to suitable services where required; information on the contents of the programme; help in managing expectations of what the programme can achieve; immediate response if sessions indicate they or their child/ren may be at imminent risk and the opportunity to access confidential information and advice.
How do I refer?
If the parent has not first completed a full risk assessment with DV-ACT an initial suitability assessment will need to be completed with an expert assessor.
For fathers who have children in child protection measures we will require:
A referral form completed by the children's social worker, including the contact details of both parents,
Documents relating to the case which details the local authorities concerns,
Copies of any assessments completed,
For cases in care proceedings we would need a copy of a full robust risk assessment completed by an expert domestic abuse risk assessor that recommends the programme and confirms the Fathers suitability. For details on the domestic abuse assessments that DV-ACT provide please visit our assessments page.
For those in private (contact or residency) proceedings, we will require:
A court order, ordering DV-ACT to deliver the programme,
The contact details of the respondent (supplied directly from them, the court or their solicitor),
The full court bundle of documents which must include any Cafcass reports completed, statements from both parties and any findings made,
That the case remains open with the court and Cafcass (or equivalent such as social services or NYAS) with arrangements made for the filing of the final report,
If the case includes high risk potentially lethal behaviours by the perpetrator we require a copy of a full robust risk assessment completed by an expert domestic abuse risk assessor that recommends the programme and confirms the Fathers suitability. For further details of private law risk assessments please contact us.
The costs for the suitability assessment must be met in full before this can take place.
How much does the programme cost?
If you are in court proceedings please note that this programme will not be funded by CAFCASS and you cannot use your legal aid funding as the LAA does not fund treatment. For cases with local authority involvement the cost is usually borne by the local authority, for cases in private law, the costs are often met by the parent. The fee breakdown is as follows:
Suitability assessment (where no previous DV-ACT assessment completed) - £440
Programme sessions 1 -10 - £1215
Programme sessions 11 - 8 and final report filed upon completion - £1215
In the event that the client does not complete the programme a final report can still be completed outlining sessions missed/attended, recommendations for further work and risk management strategies. Each stage will be invoiced separately, please contact us for full terms and conditions. What reports are included?
For those that have not first completed a risk assessment with DV-ACT a brief suitability report will be provided setting out the agreed treatment goals, what the programme will cover and how long it will take. Clients who are found unsuitable will receive a letter, setting out the reasons why they are unsuitable for this programme. A detailed final report is provided following the conclusion of the work including the following:
what the sessions covered;
whether the perpetrator has met the targets outlined at the beginning of the work;
recommendations for further work;
recommendations for risk management strategies.
For the preservation of objectivity, all final reports are completed by assessors independent from the practitioner completing the work. As this report is completed by an expert assessor it can be used with confidence in court proceedings – all DV-ACT assessors are experienced, expert witnesses. Further details regarding our final reports can be found here What is included in a DV-ACTION final report.
If you have any further questions about programme final reports or wish to make a referral please contact the programmes team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0203 9678368. If you would like to discuss a specific case a call back can be arranged with one of our clinical managers. About us
DV-ACT Programmes are a division of DV-ACT Ltd. DV-ACT comprises a team of domestic abuse experts, available throughout the UK, who provide assessments, consultancy training and treatment programmes to local authorities and the family courts.
DV-ACT was formed with the aim of using our expertise to help safeguard children from abuse, this is at the heart of everything that we do. You can find out more about us by visiting out blog post Who runs DV-ACTION Bespoke Programmes? or visit our main company website at dvact.org.