Task force set up to protect Blackpool children from domestic violence

Children in Blackpool who are vulnerable to becoming victims of domestic abuse are to get more intervention in a bid to improve their life chances.

By Shelagh Parkinson
Friday, 17th December 2021, 9:31 am

As part of work to improve Children’s Services, council social workers have received specialist training and a new task force has been set up to ensure youngsters do not have their futures blighted by violence in the home.

A council report warns “domestic abuse is a key driver for the continued high demand for Children’s Services” with around 100 families a month needing help as a direct result of domestic violence.

Report author Jeanette Richards, Blackpool Council’s assistant director of Children’s Services, said research had shown ” children exposed to domestic violence are more likely to have behavioural and emotional problems”.

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This in turn could damage their chances of doing well at school, increase the risk of suffering from poor mental health and of having relationship difficulties themselves when they reach adulthood.

The report, which was presented to the council’s children and young people’s scrutiny committee, said the rate of domestic abuse in Blackpool was over twice the average for Lancashire.

This was due to factors including deprivation and high levels of alcohol and drug use.

The report added: “Blackpool also has greater proportions of younger people who may be lone parents, on low incomes, have a long term illness and/or low education levels, all risk factors for greater domestic abuse.”

Now a new task force is being set up made up of social workers, police officers and health practioners, while more than 100 council staff have had additional training.

Other initiatives in the town include For Baby’s Sake, funded through Blackpool Better Start, which works with couples whose children are aged under two.

Caring Dads is a programme designed to rebuild relationships between fathers and their children by urging men to consider the impact of their behaviour on their children.

Relationship champions have also been established, with social services bosses hoping to “address the multiple disadvantages” which lead to domestic abuse.

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