Nicola Douglas (The Safe & Together Institute)

(United Kingdom)

Topic: Using a Perpetrator-Pattern Mapping Tool to Increase Child Safety in Domestic Violence Cases

Thematic area: New Models and Methods in Social Work

Language: English 


Domestic violence, as a child welfare issue, is caused by the domestic violence perpetrator’s choices, not the adult victim’s choices. Domestic abuse perpetration is a parenting choice. Still, many assessments, case discussions and plans focus primarily or exclusively on the adult survivor. These policies and practices actively harm adult and child survivors of domestic violence or make it harder for them to access support and assistance.

Domestic violence is defined by the perpetrator’s patterns of behaviours and their impact on the functioning of the adults, the children and the overall family. The key to accurately assessing safety and risk concerns, making good decisions, partnering with adult and child survivors and intervening with perpetrators is mapping those patterns. The workshop will introduce participants to the Safe & Together Model Perpetrator Pattern Mapping Tool. This behavioural, objective, fact-based practice tool:

• Assists with assessment of coercive control and the impact on child and family functioning
• Analyses case information in critical areas like the protective parents’ strengths, and intersections of mental health and substance use
• Provides a common language and framework that can help teams and cross system partnerships

The Tool is designed for use by practitioners including those involved in child protection, perpetrator work, survivor services, substance use services, mental health services, legal services and others. The tool can be used by individual practitioners, within supervision and coaching and with multi-agency groups. It supports the development of a shared understanding of cases between all practitioners engaged with a family.

This interactive, skills based workshop will utilise lecture, power point, group discussion and small group practice. It will introduce practitioners to the Perpetrator Pattern Mapping Tool and give them the opportunity to explore the tool and practice using it in small groups tool using a real case example.

Practitioners will:
• Be introduced to the principles of domestic violence informed practice
• Be introduced to the principles of a perpetrator pattern-based approach
• Practice using the Perpetrator Pattern Mapping Tool
• Consider the implications of mapping within their role and child and family serving systems