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Childrenyou're not alone

Children’s worker

JWA has a Specialist Children’s Worker who works with children (3  to 16 years) of mothers/carers who are accessing our client support services.

Our Specialist Children’s Worker only works with children who are no longer living with the perpetrator, as it is not safe to work with children who are still being exposed to domestic abuse. It can also be confusing for them to be working through their fears, and learning that what they are being exposed to is wrong, and yet still having to live in the situation.

One to one sessions

The Specialist Children’s Worker offers 1:1 sessions to the children she works with. These sessions generally take place in school. Initially she offers 12 sessions on a weekly basis, then reviews with the mother/school/child the work that has been done before deciding whether more sessions are needed.

During her sessions she explains that she sees children whose parents no longer live together and where there may have been difficult things that had happened at home e.g. shouting and hurting.

The sessions are generally child led although the worker will introduce activities, resources and ideas to support the child. She has an extensive tool kit, which includes art materials, puppets, small world figures and animals, as well as resources which enable the child to express themselves.

As well as looking at what the child has experienced the sessions also look at the child’s feelings.

The Specialist Children’s Worker’s role

The role of the Specialist Children’s Worker is also to offer support to the mother/carer in relation to the child and the issues that they are facing.

She makes it clear to the mother and child that what the child says to her is confidential, unless they are at risk of or are being harmed or are harming others.

She will however, give an overview to the mother of how things are going if requested and encourages the mother to keep her informed of anything important that would be beneficial for her to know whilst working with the child.

Joint sessions

She will offer joint sessions for the mother and child to attend together since a common consequence of living with domestic abuse is that the bond between mother and child is adversely affected.

Ultimately the aim of the work that the Specialist Children’s Worker does is to facilitate the child being able to speak to their mother about their feelings.

 

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We are grateful to BBC Children in Need for funding our Specialist Children’s Worker.