Police and schools will work together on a new initiative that is designed to help children experiencing domestic abuse at home.
Operation Encompass, a UK scheme, is being adopted by Guernsey Police, which is working with schools across the Bailiwick to introduce a similar initiative locally.
It will enable information to be shared with a designated safeguarding lead at the school the morning after a police call-out in relation to domestic abuse.
Melissa Guille, Children’s Officer for Education Inclusion Services, said this will allow schools and early years settings to provide appropriate support, depending on the needs and wishes of the child.
“The Safeguarding Lead at each setting has been trained to enable them to liaise with the police and to use the information that has been shared, in confidence, while ensuring that staff are able to make provision for possible difficulties experienced by the child or young person.
"We are keen to offer the best support possible to all of the island’s children and young people and we believe adopting this important initiative will be extremely beneficial to all involved.”
Operation Encompass has been introduced as part of the work being done on the island’s Domestic Abuse Strategy.
“Far from being passive witnesses, children are not ‘exposed’ to abuse and violence - they live with it and experience it directly in the same way that adults do," said the strategy's coordinator, Fiona Richmond.
"Such experiences often leave children traumatised, mistrustful and guarded or finding it difficult to develop a sense of independence and competence. In school, this can impact on their ability to self-regulate, build social relationships and learn.
"Thankfully, given the right support, children are usually able to adapt and change to meet their adverse experiences and manage them. Operation Encompass aims to help by enabling immediate and sensitive support, making a child's day better. It also means that relevant staff are made aware of these issues as the child moves forward to safeguard against the medium and long term effects of domestic abuse.”
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