The Ar Trac Project – Meeting the Needs of Children and Young People
According to Welsh Women’s Aid, “children and young people experiencing domestic abuse can have their safety and well-being severely undermined as a result of living with domestic abuse. All children witnessing domestic abuse are being emotionally abused. Some children may be directly physically or sexually abuse by the perpetrator. Young people may also be experiencing or perpetrating abuse in their own relationships.” (Source: Welsh Women’s Aid)
This issue has become particularly prevalent during the Covid-19 pandemic with lockdown restrictions and school closures, ‘trapping’ children and young people in abusive households without recourse to support outside of the home.
The Ar Trac Project
Last year, a number of domestic abuse charities joined forces to support children across Wales. This collaborative project came about as these charities recognised that adverse childhood experiences were having a huge impact on children and young people, but referral options were limited due to the lack of specialist support available.
So, to address this need, Cyfannol Women’s Aid, Calan DVS, Cardiff Women’s Aid, Gorwel and West Wales DAS came together to deliver the Ar Trac project to children aged 5-16 across 10 counties in Wales, thanks to funding from Welsh Government. This 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.
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.
Safe, Seen & Reported
In a report released this month entitled ‘Safe seen and supported’ based on a survey among survivors and practitioners, identified four key themes in reaching and supporting children and young people, these include:
- The importance of education and awareness
- The need for safe places and trust
- The significance of children and young people being heard
- The barriers to disclosure.
Delivery of the Ar Trac Project
Addressing these key issues is exactly what the Ar Trac project is designed to deliver. It 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.
Direct support is currently being provided by each member organisation within the partnership. The organisations 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. The main priority for the project is to give children a voice to ensure all new services meet their needs.
You can read more about the project here .
To find out more about the programmes of support available and to refer into the Ar Trac Project, please call a member of our team on the numbers below: