Domestic abuse charities join forces to support children across Wales
It’s estimated that 133,053 children in Wales have experienced or witnessed domestic abuse1. These adverse childhood experiences can have a huge impact on children and young people, but referral options are limited due to the lack of specialist support available.
To address this need, Cyfannol Women’s Aid, Calan DVS, Cardiff Women’s Aid, Gorwel and West Wales DAS have come together to deliver the Ar Trac project to children aged 5-16 across 10 counties in Wales, thanks to funding from Welsh Government.
Launched in April 2020, Ar Trac supports children and young people who are exhibiting difficulties with their family and peer relationships, having experienced domestic abuse. By addressing these difficulties and building upon the children’s strengths, the project aims to minimise the impact of the abuse and improve physical and mental wellbeing in later life.
The Ar Trac project will be delivered in Newport, Blaenau Gwent, Cardiff and the Vale, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Neath Port Talbot, South Powys, Ceredigion, North Pembrokeshire, Gwynedd and Anglesey. Interventions will include age-appropriate group and family work and 1:1 support, drawing on research, best practice, the experience and expertise of the consortium partners, and the voices of children and young people, to ensure support meets individual needs.
Ar Trac is funded by Welsh Government Sustainable Social Services Third Sector Grant for 2020 to 2023 and is the first project of its kind in Wales, bringing together five specialist domestic abuse agencies to provide a consortium-led approach to supporting children and young people.
Direct support will be provided by each member organisation within the partnership. As such, existing referral routes into these services will apply. The project will be coordinated by a Project Manager to ensure a consistent approach and appropriate development in each area.
Helen Swain, CEO of Cyfannol Women’s Aid, said: “We are delighted to take the lead on this exciting project, which also marks the launch of this consortium of responsive Welsh organisations. The partners involved have a deep understanding of the need for and impact of specialist support for children and young people who have been affected by domestic violence. As we move forward with the project, our priority will be giving children a voice to ensure all new services meet their needs.”
1 As reported in Welsh Women’s Aid’s publication, Children Matter: Children and Young People Experience Domestic Violence Too (2019)