Operation Encompass is a partnership between police and schools and is now in place in all 43 police forces in England and Wales. Operation Encompass is a police and education early information-sharing partnership, enabling schools to offer immediate support for children and young people experiencing domestic abuse.
Recently, the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 has made a number of positive changes, including that children are to be recognised as victims of domestic violence and abuse in their own right.
In response, Operation Encompass has published a handbook that includes "The Child's Victim Support Code' which, as below, sets out the key rights and minimum level of support that children experiencing domestic violence and abuse should expect from all professionals.
The Child's Victim Support Code
- Children have the right to live without fear, abuse and trauma.
- Children have the right to have their voices heard.
- Experiencing domestic violence and abuse should be recognised as a children's rights issue as defined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
- Children have the right to support, dependent on their needs and wishes.
- Children have the right to be dealt with by people, including police officers, who understand the impact domestic violence and abuse (DVA) has upon children.
- Children have the right to experience day-to-day understanding and support from all professionals including their school.
- It is a child's right for the police to share DVA information, in a timely fashion, with those who can best support them.
- Children have the right to be involved and consulted in the decision-making process following DVA.
NAHT has endorsed the Child's Victim Support Code and recommends that schools support its implementation in their settings. To find out more about Operation Encompass and the resources available to help you to do this, you can visit their webpage here.
First published 24 August 2021