"It’s positive to see the Government has allocated an £8 million fund towards support for children who witness domestic abuse, and help with their recovery through locally commissioned projects. However, considerably more must still be done."
Responding to the launch of the Government’s Domestic Abuse Bill consultation, Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:
“Domestic abuse is a horrendous crime, which can have a long-term and devastating impact on families, and particularly children. It can take the form of psychological, physical, emotional or economic abuse, and the Government’s consultation on the Domestic Abuse Bill, which recognises that it can occur in a wide range of domestic settings and in various forms, is a positive step towards tackling it.
“Following the LGA’s call for an urgent injection of funding into early intervention initiatives that provide support for children experiencing domestic violence, it’s positive to see the Government has allocated an £8 million fund towards support for children who witness domestic abuse, and help with their recovery through locally commissioned projects.
“However, considerably more must still be done. Councils want to prevent domestic abuse from happening, rather than just tackling the impact of it. Reducing domestic abuse over the longer term means looking at what young people are taught about relationships. This includes what children and young people are watching on-line, and the impact this is having on their views about appropriate behaviour in a relationship.
“Councils know the wider cost to their communities of domestic abuse, with evidence showing children exposed to domestic violence are at a greater risk of being involved in youth crime or to experience behavioural problems, which can have a detrimental effect in later life. That is why we have consistently called on the Government to fully resource children’s services departments - currently likely to operate at a £2 billion shortfall by 2020 - so that councils can include early intervention measures as part of a comprehensive package of reform to tackle this issue, and to ensure councils are fully funded to prevent and tackle domestic abuse in their communities.”
Helping children and young people to fulfil their potential is a key ambition of all councils, but the local services that can support them to do so are under increasing pressure.
Bright Futures is our call to properly fund the services that change children’s lives.