Updated: Sep 23
This answers any questions you may have on referring yourself to
DV-ACT's domestic abuse prevention programme (DAPP)
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-ACT DAPP (Domestic Abuse Prevention Programme). This programme is for parents who have used domestic abuse in their intimate partner relationship.
This post answers the questions most frequently asked by parents who are/have been in private law proceedings and are looking at self-refering to this programme.
For cases in public law (care) proceedings or child protection measures please contact us.
What are DAPPs?
A DAPP is a behavioural change programme delivered in the community, built specifically for perpetrators of domestic abuse. DAPP's are often used in the family court where the court has concerns regarding the safety of child contact due to domestic abuse. It is the only intervention that research has demonstrated has some success in reducing domestic violence and abuse. To find out more about programmes and their effectiveness in reducing risk please visit our post Do domestic abuse prevention programmes really work?
What are the programme aims?
The programme aims to reduce your violence and/or abuse towards your intimate partners and improve the safety of your child/ren by:
encouraging you to take responsibility for your abusive behaviour
helping you make positive steps towards changing that behaviour,
increasing your awareness and understanding of domestic abuse and help you to examine your own use of domestic abuse,
Increasing your understanding of the effects that abusive behaviour can have on your intimate partners and your child/ren,
helping you to not use controlling behaviour in your relationships,
What is included in the programme?
The programme includes:
a suitability assessment to see if the programme is right for you
a treatment plan to meet your needs and the concerns of the court
18 one-to-one sessions completed using video calling with a trained domestic abuse programme facilitator
access to our online learning environment with programme materials in an electronic format
a linked support service that provides information and support to your ex/partner
A session with an expert risk assessor with a full final report that is suitable for court proceedings and can be filed with the court and all parties.
What topics do the sessions cover?
As you will be completing the programme on a one to one basis topics may be changed depending on your needs or the concerns highlighted in your suitability assessment. However, topics usually include:
Strategies for reducing violence,
Analysing feelings and behaviour,
Motivation to change,
Power and control,
The impact of abuse on victims and children,
Sexual respect and intimacy,
Attitudes towards women.
What reports are included?
A letter can be provided with the outcome of the suitability assessment and an interim assessment can be provided if required by the court. The programme includes a full final report when you have completed the programme. You will be asked to meet with an assessor for one or two sessions after you have completed all 18 sessions of the programme. The report is usually produced within 2 weeks of you completing the programme and will cover:
what the sessions covered;
whether you have met the targets outlined at the beginning of the work;
recommendations for further work (if necessary);
recommendations for risk management strategies including recommendations for child contact.
There is no additional charge for any of these reports the fees for reports are included in the cost of the programme. All of our reports can be filed with all parties and the court.
How much does it cost and how long will it take?
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 may be met by the local authority, however, for cases in private law proceedings, the costs are usually met by the parent.
The fee breakdown for those who are self-funding the programme is as follows*:
Suitability assessment (please note the requirements for suitability) - £366.67 +VAT
18-session programme including interim and full final assessment report - £2203+VAT (this can be paid in instalments)
Interpreter services if required £40/hr for 21 hours - £840 +VAT (please note that this is subject to change depending upon the language required)
At the moment our timescale for cases that do not require a translator is 2 weeks for a suitability assessment, then if found suitable 2 week wait to start the programme.
At the time of writing, we have a wait time of 2 weeks for a suitability assessment and up to 2 weeks to start following a successful assessment. Please note that this is subject to change and can depend upon circumstances.
*Please note that the fees do not include attendance at meetings or court proceedings these will require additional funding.
How do I refer myself?
In order to start the process, you will need to email us at email@example.com. If you are, or have been, in family court proceedings we will need the court documents. Ideally, we need the full court bundle, however, if you are self-representing please contact us and we can guide you on what documents we need. As a minimum we would need:
A court order for you to do a programme
Cafcass letters and reports and/or social workers reports
Findings from a finding of fact hearing (if you have had one)
Once we have all the required documents we will advise if you are provisionally suitable for the programme and ask that you meet the fees for the suitability assessment which is £440 (£366.67+VAT). Once we have the fees we will book a time for your suitability assessment.
You may be found provisionally unsuitable for the programme and we will not be able to offer you a suitability assessment if:
you have pending criminal proceedings for domestic abuse
you are already attending a programme with probation
you have mental health or substance misuse problems that are not under control and would make it difficult for you to attend the programme and engage fully.
If social services are involved in your case we would need to speak to them to check that they agree to your attending this programme.
It is important that you are open and honest with us when you are completing the referral form, particularly with regard to any ongoing court or police involvement. We have different procedures and programmes depending upon whether there is court and local authority involvement or not and you will not be able to stay on and complete the programme if you do not provide the correct information at the start.
Why do I need a suitability assessment?
DAPP's generally require a suitability assessment even if you are court-ordered to attend a programme. This is because DAPP's are behavioural change programmes and the success of the programme is dependent upon you showing genuine motivation to make changes. In order to be suitable for the DV-ACT DAPP you need to:
accept that at least some of your behaviour is/has been abusive
have some motivation to change your behaviour
be willing to attend and complete the full programme
agree to us contacting your current partner (if you are currently in a relationship) and the mother of your children that you are in court with.
What happens after the suitability assessment?
You will be informed of whether you have been found suitable within 2 days. If you have been found unsuitable you will be provided with a letter with the reasons why the programme is not right for you.
If you are found suitable you will be asked to pay the first instalment of the programme fees. When we have received that you will be allocated to a programme facilitator who will contact you to arrange the date and time for your programme sessions. You will also be contacted by the programme team to give you your login details to our online learning platform. The contract of participation will be sent to you to sign and you may be asked to provide contact details of current or ex-partners.
What is the contract of participation?
Before starting the programme you will be asked to sign a contract which sets out the agreement you need to make with us in order to continue on the programme. If you breach any part of this agreement you may be suspended or expelled from the programme, this includes:
missing 3 sessions without good reason
being abusive towards DV-ACT staff
attending a session while being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
not allowing your ex/partner access to the support services
your use of abuse or violence continues
you are not making any progress towards meeting the aims set out in your treatment plan
Why do you contact my current/ex partner?
We will contact your current and/or ex-partner to offer them support, information and guidance regarding the programme and how you are progressing. The service is free, confidential and voluntary with your ex and/or current partner able to choose how much they would like to engage with this service. A condition of your attendance on the programme is that you allow your ex/partner to engage with this service.
If you disclose anything on the programme that we believe may put your ex/partner or child/ren at risk we will contact them. This may also need to be reported to the authorities, wherever possible, this will be discussed with you first.
What will I need for the programme sessions?
One-to-one sessions will need to be completed on a tablet or laptop. You will also need to ensure you can attend sessions in a suitable location, which should be in a room alone or in a quiet space where you won't be overheard. You will also need to make sure that you have a good wi-fi signal.
We also expect you to be dressed appropriately and that you do not move from room to room in a session unless the programme facilitator asks you to move to a different location. If you cannot attend you need to let the programme facilitator know as soon as possible, if you cannot reach them you would call the programme team on the contact details below. Any sessions missed will still need to be completed so it will take longer to finish the programme if you miss sessions.
The programme includes independent learning between sessions and you will need to log in to the online platform and complete any tasks given before the next session.
What if I only have a phone?
If you do not have a laptop or tablet we will provide a tablet for you, the sessions can only take place using video calling we do not complete sessions over the phone or without being able to see you.
What if I have more questions?
If you have questions not answered in this post or you are worried about any part of referring yourself to the programme you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0203 9678368.
Help for domestic abuse is available in the UK as follows:
Call the UK police non-emergency number, 101, if you need support or advice from the police and it's not an emergency. Always call 999 in an emergency.
National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247
The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327
Respect phoneline for perpetrators of domestic abuse - 0808 8024040
Childline - 0800 1111
DV-ACT Programmes are a division of DV-ACT Ltd. DV-ACT comprises a team of domestic abuse experts 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.