Workshops and toolkits: Free resources to tackle domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is a key cause of homelessness and access to safe housing is a priority for survivors of domestic abuse, there are free resources out there to help you.

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DAHA promotes the response housing can support tenants and staff by:

  • Improving the ability of victims of abuse to access effective support quickly near their homes
  • Reduce the length of time that victims suffer from domestic abuse
  • Enable victims to stay in their homes safely reducing the need to disrupt children’s schooling or move away from family and friends who are providing vital support.
  • Frontline staff receiving specialist training to become equipped and more confident to understand, identify and respond to with domestic abuse.
  • Ensuring that staff experiencing domestic abuse are supported effectively by their employer and protected by robust policies and procedures to support this.

DAHA has introduced a specific accreditation for housing providers to improve their services relating to domestic violence through a set of National Domestic Abuse Service Standards.

These standards are used to assess and improve practise and processes such as risk management and staff training within the housing sector.

But one thing that hasn’t been highlighted enough is the free workshops and online toolkit on offer to housing associations.

Workshops have been designed to provide housing providers with further insight and understanding of the evidence they will need to demonstrate to achieve DAHA accreditation.

They provide support to improve responses to domestic abuse in the eight areas outlined above.

Providers can access the free toolkit on the DAHA website, accessing good practice examples to help them on their journey to accreditation.

A suite of workshops have been designed by DAHA for each of the priority areas in the form of a master class varying from two to three hours.

During the workshop the audience can expect to hear from the experts what an effective response by housing looks like in line with each of the priority areas.

Best practice resources are shared, activities to tease out how housing providers can make good use of their domestic abuse champions in the workplace and partnership working to enable staff to gain an understanding from the specialist what the dynamics of abuse entail.

Lively interactive discussions surround practical solutions and best practice examples that can be implemented back at the workplace.

Presentations offer a directive to support all the good work housing providers are currently doing.

One of the activities that has generated positive feedback from housing providers is the Survivors Exercise.

Individuals are placed in the shoes of a survivor seeking to source further information regarding domestic abuse and their options for assistance from their housing providers website.

This has informed many housing providers of the need to ensure information for survivors is embedded and sourced easily within their own individual websites and also consider additional factors such as quick exit routes, clearing history, language barriers, specialist services that can offer support locally.

So far nearly 100 housing providers have engaged with DAHA since the start of the project, with 20 workshops having been run so far, attended by 220 people.

With funding from the Home Office, DAHA created an free online toolkit, which any housing provider can access and includes templates and guidance to assist with implementing the 8 priority areas. The toolkit also includes a self-assessment site for organisations to submit supporting documents towards achieving DAHA accreditation.

So far, 270 people from 170 different organisations have signed into use the toolkit at least once.

The toolkit is a benchmark for how housing providers should respond to domestic abuse.

It enables providers to capture their work as they go and save progress to submit all documents in one go in readiness for DAHA Review and Accreditation Award.

The toolkit provides simple actions and resources covering the eight priority areas collated in one place.  To access the toolkit providers need only log onto to the site and create a user profile that will enable unlimited access to view free examples documents and templates.

Housing providers can make use of the links imbedded on the toolkit to assist in implementing all that is required to assist in an improved response to domestic abuse.

One comment from a user of the toolkit said it was a “great resource” and “extremely user friendly”.

Make sure you go to the website and sign up for workshops and the toolkit!

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