Hertfordshire schools to be informed of domestic abuse incidents
PUBLISHED: 17:52 19 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:52 19 March 2017
Schools in Hertfordshire will now be informed within one working day if an alleged incident of domestic abuse has occurred in a pupil’s home – provided the child’s welfare is considered at risk.
Herts police’s new scheme launched on Monday, with the aim to ensure schools in the county are aware of potential safeguarding issues surrounding their students so they receive the appropriate support.
The policy will be overseen by the force’s specialist Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit, which in 2016 dealt with around 18,500 reports of domestic abuse within intimate relationships. DAISU also provides support to victims and their families.
The unit is headed up by Detective Chief Inspector Ruth Dodsworth, who said: “After their parents, teachers are usually the adults that spend most time with the child on a day-to-day basis.
“So now, where appropriate, police will inform schools if a serious incident has occurred at home.
“This will pave the way for the school to then pay extra attention to that child, or if there are behavioural or learning issues, the school will know more of the context around them and therefore be able to provide suitable care and support.
“If there are any concerns around the child’s welfare that later arise then the school will also be able to take appropriate action.
“We will be taking a proportionate approach to the reports, so information about minor domestic incidents where no crime has occurred will not be shared with the child’s school.
“However, work done in other areas shows this kind of information sharing has provided reassurance to victims of domestic abuse, knowing that schools are aware of the child’s home environment.”
Visit herts.police.uk/advice/domestic_abuse.aspx to see the different ways abuse can be reported.