Referred to the DV-ACT programme for Mothers: What happens next?

Updated: Jul 1

If you have been referred to DV-ACT's programme for Mothers this post will explain what the programme is for, how it works and what you will need to do to complete your sessions.



DV-ACT is an independent organisation that provides domestic abuse services for social services and the family courts in the UK. One of the services that we provide is the DV-ACTION Bespoke Programme for Mothers. This programme is for mothers who are in court proceedings or in child protection measures because of concerns that their child/ren may be at risk due to domestic abuse. The aim of this programme is to help mums keep their children and themselves safe from abuse in the home.


The programme includes 10 weekly one-to-one sessions completed remotely using Zoom (or a similar app) alongside online independent learning. All the sessions and online learning have been created by DV-ACT experts who have worked with domestic abuse victims for many years.


Getting started


  • The programme team will contact you so that they can send you a tablet and set you up on the online learning platform, they will also let you know the name of your allocated worker.

  • When you have received your tablet our programme team will email you instructions for how to set up your tablet, with a link, username and password for the online learning. They will also arrange for you to have a video call so that they can show you how to access your learning and get the most from the programme.

  • Your allocated worker will contact you to set up your first meeting. This meeting is a video call between you and your treatment worker to create your programme. All of our programmes are tailored for each family that we work with so the package of topics and learning that you will receive will be put together especially for you. At this session, you can talk about any areas you would like to focus on alongside the areas of concern that have been identified in previous assessments or child protection plans.

Please feel free to ask questions and discuss any concerns that you have about the programme with the programme team or your allocated worker.


Attending the programme


We want your time on the programme to be as useful and positive as possible. We find that women who attend the sessions weekly report better outcomes. All appointments take place via video calling and we ask that you:


  • Attend 10 treatment sessions, this will usually be 1 session a week (each session takes 1 hour)

  • Complete independent learning online each week (1 or 2 topics will be released each week and will usually carry on with the subject you covered in your one-to-one session)

  • Attend a final interview (2 - 3 hours) with a domestic abuse risk assessor.


The links for your treatment sessions will be on your tablet so you have everything in one place. For each session you will need to make sure you:


  • Have somewhere quiet and comfortable to sit where no one will disturb you for at least 1 hour

  • Have access to wifi

  • Are in a place where you cannot be overheard, your treatment worker will ask at the beginning of the session if anyone is present in the home, this is particularly important if you are still with your abusive partner

  • Have childcare arranged so that you can concentrate on the session without interruption

  • Have your journal with you and any notes from your online learning

  • Have a pen and paper handy to write down any notes.


We would ask that you please let us know as soon as possible if you have any problems that might affect your attendance or your ability to complete the online work.


Programme topics


There is a selection of over 80 different topics related to domestic and sexual abuse that can be included in your treatment plan. The topics are grouped into sections like this:


  • Domestic abuse knowledge - topics like what is non-physical abuse? What is abusive?

  • Sexual abuse - exploring sexual abuse and consent

  • Attachment - understanding your relationship with your abuser

  • Children - focus on talking to your children about the abuse and how to manage contact

  • Safety planning - how to plan to keep your children safe and spot early warning signals

  • Personal insight - discussing the impact the abuse has had on you and exploring your childhood experiences

  • Moving forward - with topics like building self-esteem, working with professionals, what to do when starting a new relationship

  • Additional needs - this section will cover specific needs not included in the above areas like alcohol abuse, grieving and loss and immigration concerns.


Using the online learning platform


DV-ACT has built an online learning platform on Moodle just for our clients and it is only available through an app or link on your tablet. You will be given your own unique username and password to access the platform and you will need to keep this secure.

The topics that you will work on are chosen by your allocated worker to run alongside your 10 one-to-one sessions with 1or 2 topics unlocked for you to use each week.

Each topic will include:

  • Short passages of learning on the topic

  • Videos to watch

  • Interactive activities to complete

  • Extra information and resources on the topic

  • Self-care tips and time for reflection.


Your online learning is an essential part of your programme so you should always try to finish your topics and submit your end-of-topic reflection before your next one-to-one session. As well as the topics that you choose with your allocated worker you will also have access to further resources including:


  • Your personal safety plan - this will be set up in your first session with your treatment worker but you can update this whenever you want by completing the form on your tablet.

  • Calendar and links to your treatment sessions - The calendar will have the dates and times of all your treatment sessions and the video links will be in this section for you to use.

  • Access to a daily journal - this will give you tips on the different ways you can journal your experiences throughout the programme.

  • General resources about domestic abuse - this includes information leaflets, links to support services, interesting news articles, videos, interviews and formal resources such as power and control wheels.

  • General topics - some topics will be available to everyone including the importance of self-care, how to get the most from the programme, how to keep your device secure and rebuilding your life after abuse.


Ongoing access


When you finish the programme you will have an interview with a domestic abuse risk assessor who will complete an assessment and submit a report about your progress. After this, the programme will unlock many more topics for you, so you can carry on and explore if you want to. You keep the tablet and access to the platform so you can update your safety plan, use the resources and continue to learn for as long as you wish.


Further questions


If you have any further questions about the programme please contact the programmes team at programmes@dvact.org or call on 0203 9678368. You can also find downloadable/printable information sheets on our information page.


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.