More than £700,000 has been awarded to Cumbrian local councils to support victims of domestic abuse.
Carlisle City Council submitted a partnership bid as the lead local authority for Cumbria. The successful funding bid to the Department for Communities and Local Government has resulted in £729,877.24 revenue funding been awarded over the next two years.
Partners within the Cumbrian bid are: Carlisle City Council; Allerdale Borough Council; South Lakeland District Council; Copeland Borough Council; Eden District Council; Barrow Borough Council and Cumbria County Council. The Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner supported and endorsed the bid.
The Cumbrian local authorities will use the funding to improve access to specialised accommodation and support based services for those people /households with more complex needs who have been identified as being at high risk.
Carlisle City Council Portfolio holder for Economy, Enterprise and Housing, Cllr Heather Bradley, said:
“I’m delighted that the partnership bid has been a successful. The funding will provide additional support for victims of abuse. In addition to an increase in supported emergency accommodation for those at high risk, the funding will be also be used for a bespoke training programme for up to 15 frontline accommodation officers who will train other officers and teams countywide. This will create an effective network of responsive officers who are in a position to assist effectively and engage with those with complex high needs.”
The funding will be used to support the Domestic Abuse Prevention (DAP) model approach across the county reflecting urban and rural diversified needs through:
- An increase of up to 12 supported emergency accommodation units for households in crisis - from 22 units currently to up to 34 dedicated units (dependent on household size). This will ensure there is a mix of provision to suit differing needs and risk levels i.e. from secure provision staffed 24 hours a day; medium to low risk of supported and dispersed accommodation; and individual supported units. Out of hour’s advice, assistance and access to emergency crisis accommodation will be available throughout the county.
- 5.81FTE fixed term dedicated and specialist trained DAP accommodation officers available countywide to deliver frontline crisis support to those housed in emergency accommodation and address immediate and longer term needs. There are currently no specialist domestic abuse accommodation officers across the county focusing on high risk complex needs. Officers will work across community partnerships to ensure that access to timely interventions are available.
- Practical assistance will be delivered with a focus on stable housing, risk reduction and safety; this will be enhanced through the opportunity to apply for a personalised DAP grant of up to £500 administered by the accountable lead organisation, Carlisle City Council. It is envisioned that this will assist up to 120 households being supported within emergency accommodation annually.
- Enhancing the current Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) service by employing an additional fixed term young person’s IDVA to deliver training, educational and awareness raising with 100 young people across a variety of communities. Plus developing a network of DA mentors in educational establishments across the county. We anticipate that the young person IDVA along with the current post holder will engage with all the main secondary schools within the county - 36 secondary schools and 40 adult education and community development centres.
- To deliver specialist preventative training programmes and interventions (over the two years funding).
Department for Communities and Local Government funding:
Seventy-six projects across the country will receive a share of £20 million to support victims of domestic abuse, creating more than 2,200 new bed spaces in refuges and other specialist accommodation.
This will support more than 19,000 victims with somewhere safe to live and rebuild their lives, and provide further access to education, employment and life skills training.
Last November, the government published its “Priorities for Domestic Abuse Services” setting out what local areas need to put in place to make sure their approach to domestic abuse is collaborative, robust and effective.
This latest funding has been awarded to local areas that will deliver on these priorities - for example by working collaboratively across local authority boundaries and with other partners, including specialist domestic violence service providers to strengthen support.
The funding will support a wide range of services and safe accommodation which help those at risk of violence to stay safe in their own homes through improved security measures and mainstream local authority accommodation.