The safety and well-being of young people is our greatest priority. Our school is one of many in County Durham that will be taking part in a new project at providing extra support to young people whom are affected by or witness domestic abuse in their home lives.
Witnessing domestic abuse is really distressing for a young person. They can often see the abuse, hear it from another room, see a parent’s injuries and distress afterwards, or be physically hurt themselves.
A new project, called Operation Encompass, aims to support children affected in any way by domestic abuse. The project is a joint initiative involving Durham County Council, Durham Police and schools across the country.
A major part of the project is the training of school staff, known as a ‘key adult’ in each school to liaise with police and work with the young people affected. Mrs Louise Thompson is our identified ‘Key Adult’
Starting from January 2017, following any serious domestic abuse incident being reported into Durham Police, specialist staff will identify which school that the child attends, make contact with the school and communicate relevant and necessary information. This will ensure that the school is made aware at the earliest possible opportunity and they can subsequently provide support in a way that means the child feels safe and supported.
Operation Encompass was introduced in Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall, in February 2011 and has proved very effective in providing appropriate support in a timely manner. This initiative has already been implemented in other force areas such as Cleveland and is now being extended across the Durham area.
I believe our school involvement in this project demonstrates our commitment to providing the best possible care and support for our pupils.
In the meantime, if you would like to speak to someone about the project or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Louise Thompson on 01207 232445
You can also find our more information at www.operationencompass.org/