Support scheme for children living with domestic abuse to be expanded

A scheme to identify school pupils who may be suffering from or witnessing domestic abuse should be extended to nurseries and colleges, a review has suggested

Operation Encompass was started earlier this year by West Yorkshire Police in a bid to give better support to youngsters having serious troubles at home.

Warning signs that a child may be living in an abusive home include turning up to school in their own clothes, and showing signs of aggression.

Warning signs that a child may be living in an abusive home include turning up to school in their own clothes, and showing signs of aggression.

A total of 109 cases have been referred to the authorities by school staff since the summer.

Among the warning signs identified for those who may be at risk are a child turning up to school in their own clothes, rather than in uniform, and unexpectedly showing aggression.

Now a review into Operation Encompass' success has said that those below and above school age should be included.

In a report by Wakefield councillor Maureen Cummings, who sits on the regional Safer Together Partnership where the scheme has been discussed, said: "Operation Encompass, funded by the Safer Together Partnership, has now had a six-month review which reveals that 109 school notifications have been issued.

A total of 109 cases have been referred to the police since the scheme started earlier this year.

A total of 109 cases have been referred to the police since the scheme started earlier this year.

"This means that those children are silently observed, if they show aggression, they are not excluded but supported, if they turn up for school out of uniform they are not sent home but supported through the day and if they turn up with a comforting toy they are allowed to keep it for that day and it's not taken

off them.

"School staff have embraced this approach and almost all schools across our district have accepted the training.

"The six-month review recommends that we now move onto training nurseries and colleges."

Local Democracy Reporting Service