The need to safeguard children from exposure to domestic abuse is a matter of increasing urgency. There is a large body of evidence demonstrating the risk to children presented by exposure to domestic abuse as a result of its’ effect on their emotional, social and cognitive development, in addition to the risk to their physical safety, including infants and toddlers.
Steps to Safety is a new model for working with couples who are expecting a child, or have a child under the age of five, where there is evidence of situational couple violence and where both partners express the desire for support in order to change and stay together. The intervention model includes guidance regarding the delivery of an intensive method of working with families in addition to a number of assessment tools for use by suitably qualified and experienced social care practitioners in local authorities.
This study involves an evaluation of the acceptability, feasibility and potential benefits of the model prior to it being subjected to large-scale testing.