Our last blog was a bit of an introduction to how the new Domestic Abuse Team in Central Bedfordshire is shaping up. This week we thought we’d share a little bit more about the things we’re doing day to day to challenge the domestic abuse that goes on in our communities and to improve the experiences of victims all over Central Bedfordshire.
A day in the life of the Domestic Abuse Team – Strategic Manager Joy Piper;
Joy is on the end in the blue dress!
I’m an early riser so my day starts early, I am usually logged on and checking my email at around 7.30am. This gives me a bit of peace and quiet to answer any queries that have come in overnight and respond to requests while I’m having my coffee. I also tend to use the time to check my team’s diaries and send them information or support for whatever they are doing that day.
Once I’m in the office my day is generally guided by our ever growing team action plan. A lot of my time in the office is spent writing reports to deadlines for boards, charities and voluntary sector meetings. There is a lot of voluntary agencies and charities doing amazing work in our communities across the borough that need our support. Part of my role is to respond to those needs; to answer any questions professionals or our partners have and to help partners overcome barriers to resources or support. So I am often out and about in the community observing good practice or small projects that need support to grow in order to meet the needs of the every growing number of people who seek support as a result of domestic abuse.
I always make time for lunch and it’s usually a jacket potato with cheese and beans. Cheese first of course 😉
The rest of my day is spent focused on our Domestic Abuse Corporate plan and refreshing our Domestic Abuse action plan. Challenging Domestic Abuse is a priority for Central Bedfordshire Council. Moving it up the agenda and raising the profile of the agencies and charities that work with domestic abuse involves a lot of networking. It means making sure I’m getting into the right meetings, raising the right issues at the right time as well as challenging organisations where practices are no longer helpful to victims, or where learning is needed.
Sometimes I will get calls from managers who have employees who are experiencing domestic abuse and want to know how they can best support them. As a result of these enquiries I am currently trying to develop a responsive staff policy for supporting employees and a separate one for managers detailing what they can do to support any member of their team who is experiencing domestic abuse and needs support.
Improving the knowledge and expertise in dealing with domestic abuse has meant spending lots of time developing a training schedule. Along with Debbie Crawford at the learning academy we’ve worked out a training programme which will be embedded in the learning directory from September. We know that getting training right is key for moving the whole council forward in the way they perceive and respond to domestic abuse.
When I get home Loki our 5 year old German Shepard is there to greet me and generally harass me into taking him out for a walk, perfect end to the busy, productive days in the team.