Spectrum Quality Standards
The Spectrum Project is hosted by Hafan Cymru. Hafan Cymru is a charitable housing association with 27 years’ experience of providing housing and support to women, men, their children and young people across Wales. We offer a complete package of enabling support for our clients to keep safe and cope with a wide range of needs, often complex or multiple needs – including those who have experienced physical, sexual or psychological abuse; homelessness; those recovering their mental health; ex-offenders; substance misusers and care leavers. The organisation primarily works with those escaping domestic abuse, helping them break the cycle and regain their independence. The Spectrum Project has been in existence for over 12 years and aligns with the Hafan Cymru’s aims of preventing domestic abuse and promoting independence.
The work of the Spectrum Project is underpinned by educational values and standards as this is the best way to work cohesively with schools and assist them in understanding the need for a Whole School Approach to tackling Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence. The elements covered by the Spectrum Whole School Approach include Learning, Safeguarding, Campaigning, Participating, Institutionalising and Localising (Welsh Government Toolkit for Schools Delivering Educational Resources 2006).
All Spectrum sessions champion the rights of children and young people as can be referenced by the seven core aims outlined in Professor Donaldson’s Successful Futures (2015 pp.25&26.)
The Spectrum Project aligns with the Welsh Government “Whole Education Approach to Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence” which was developed in conjunction with Welsh Women’s Aid:
Principles and practice: the 9 key elements of a Whole Education Approach:
- Children and young people learn about Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence
All Spectrum sessions provide children and young people with information about a variety of elements of VAWDASV. Spectrum staff, therefore have to have good knowledge and keep up to date with new developments/policies etc. They also have to be able to deliver sessions to children and young people from Foundation Phase to KS4, taking into account mixed abilities within each group.
- Staff learn about Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence
SLO’s deliver staff training sessions on VAWDASV giving all school staff the opportunity to learn about DA, the effects on children and suggestions as to how they can implement a Whole School Approach. They therefore have to be able to confidently deliver to school staff at all levels, including senior management.
- Parents, caregivers and family learn about Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence
Spectrum offers training sessions to parents, caregivers etc. SLO’s therefore have to be able to deliver training sessions to a variety of audiences, adapting content and delivery models accordingly.
- Monitoring and evaluation systems are in place to measure impact of this work
Evaluations are carried out with children, young people and school staff pre and post session. SLO’s are required to monitor these evaluations, checking for any potential safeguarding issues identified in these evaluations Spectrum SLO’s are therefore required to have a good knowledge of Safeguarding matters, policies and procedures.
- Measures are in place to support people who experience forms of Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence
Information is given at the end of all sessions regarding avenues of support. SLO’s therefore need to have good working knowledge of both local and national support agencies, helplines etc.
- Active participation of children and young people, staff and parents/caregivers to prevent Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence
SLO’s are involved in the on-going development of Spectrum sessions including gathering feedback from focus groups of children, young people and staff. They also train children and young people to pass on information to their peers regarding VAWDASV via the Spectrum Peer Education Programme.
- Taking action to prevent Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence in the wider community
SLO’s deliver training sessions to parents and the school community as mentioned in 3 above. They also take part in local and national awareness raising events, conferences etc.
- Working in partnership with relevant local experts
SLO’s often work in partnership with other local experts during school health days and also take an active part in local multi-agency VAWDASV meetings and forums.
- Embedding a comprehensive prevention programme
Spectrum advocates and encourages schools to develop a Whole School Approach to tackling VAWDASV. There is also a good number of follow on resources on the Hwb website that can be accessed by school staff across Wales, along with information, games, resources etc. that can be found on the Spectrum website.
Evaluations of the project have been carried out by an independent consultant and by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. The University has also developed a theoretical model looking at how our sessions take children from being unaware to awareness and eventually autonomous individuals.
The Live Fear Free Helpline is always promoted in secondary schools and when delivering training sessions to school staff, parents, governors etc. Reference is also made to specialist support agencies and referral mechanisms for subjects such as Female Genital Mutilation, Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage, Child Sexual Exploitation etc. All children and young people in both primary and secondary schools are given contact details and information regarding Childline. Secondary school pupils are also given contact information for Meic Cymru.
Linking with Other Agencies
All of our School Liaison Officers (SLO’s) engage with local Domestic Abuse services through network/membership meetings, joint partnership working at events, provision of statistical data etc.
Responding to Disclosure
When there is a disclosure during a school session from either pupils or school staff the SLO’s work closely with the school Safeguarding Officer. Appropriate robust processes and paperwork is in place to support this. SLO’s can advise on local referral pathways if this is deemed to be appropriate. There are clear protocols that the Senior Designated Person who deals with referrals in a school has to follow and if they feel that contacting Social Services is their first port of call this has to be respected as we have no direct authority over the young people.