Developing service responses to domestic violence
Submitting InstitutionUniversity of Central Lancashire
Unit of AssessmentSocial Work and Social Policy
Summary Impact TypeLegal
Research Subject Area(s)
Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Studies In Human Society: Policy and Administration, Social Work
Summary of the impact
Stanley's national study of police and children's services responses to
children and families
experiencing domestic violence has contributed to: a practice shift
perpetrators in interventions; piloting in England and Wales of protection
orders and relaxing
time restrictions on social work assessment as recommended by the Munro
Associated studies include research informing a social marketing campaign
of domestic violence and an evaluation of the service developed from that
initiative was disseminated by the Department of Health. Stanley's
research review on
children experiencing domestic violence informed the redesign and
commissioning of local
authority children's services.
A co-edited book (Humphreys and Stanley 2006) built on Stanley's earlier
1997; Bell and Stanley 2006) and was one of the first published in the UK
address the relationship between domestic violence and child protection.
The book marked
a new direction in the UK response to domestic violence by including
research on abusive
fathers as well as a chapters co-authored by Stanley on interagency
preventive work in schools. A further chapter arguing for collaborative
children's and adults' services for families experiencing domestic
violence was published in
2010 (Stanley et al 2010).
The NSPCC funded study undertaken by a team of UCLan researchers (Miller,
Fellow UCLan 2007-09; Richardson Foster, Research Fellow UCLan 2007-09;
Research Fellow UCLan 2007-08, now employed in UCLan's School of Nursing)
Professor Stanley was the first in the UK to examine police notifications
of domestic violence
incidents to children's services . A sample of 251 domestic violence
children was tracked from police records through to children's services.
The study confirmed
concerns raised by UK inquiries and the international literature in
demonstrating that this
system of referrals resulted in a new service for a very small proportion
(5%) of families .
Police officers at domestic violence incidents were reluctant to engage
Children and victims were anxious for perpetrators to be removed from the
Current structures for assessment and intervention contributed to a
stop-start pattern of
social work predicated on separation and a lack of social work engagement
of domestic violence. A key recommendation was that the time limits on
assessments be lifted . The study also identified a range of innovative
approaches for co-
ordinating risk assessment by the police and children's social services
The `Men's Talk' study of men's views  concerning domestic violence
motivations for changing abusive behaviour was undertaken 2008-09 by
Stanley, Miller and
Thomson in collaboration with researchers from the University of Hull.
This was the first
study of its kind to be undertaken with men in the general population in
the UK. The findings
informed the content and design of an innovative public health initiative
that included a social
marketing campaign and a new service for male perpetrators of domestic
evaluation  of the work of the service was undertaken by a research
team led by Stanley
and including Graham-Kevan, School of Psychology, UCLan.
A research review  of children's experiences of domestic violence
aimed at Directors of
Children's Services placed UK research in the context of international
the focus on mothers which acts to exclude fathers and identified gaps in
services. It has been widely disseminated by Research into Practice and
conferences in the UK and abroad.
Together, these studies have resulted in six new studies funded by the
DH, the NIHR, the
Welsh Government and the EU commencing in 2012-13 with Larkins working
Stanley on two of these.
References to the research
Key Research Outputs:
2. Stanley, N., Miller, P., Richardson-Foster, H. and Thomson, G. (2011)
Response: Social Services' Interventions with Children and Families
Following Domestic Violence Incidents. British Journal of Social Work,
41, 2, 296-313.
3. Stanley, N., Miller, P., Richardson-Foster, H. and Thomson, G. (2010)
Experiences of Domestic Violence: Developing an Integrated Response from
and Child Protection Services. Journal of Interpersonal Violence,
26, 12, 2372-2391.
4. Stanley, N., Fell, B., Miller, P., Thomson, G and Watson, J.P. (2012)
Men's Understandings of Violence Against Women and Motivations for Change.
Violence Against Women, 18, 11, 1300-1318.
5. Stanley, N., Graham-Kevan, N. and Borthwick, R. (2012) Fathers and
Violence — building motivation for change through perpetrator programmes.
Abuse Review, 21, 4, 264-274.
6. Stanley, N. (2011) Children Experiencing Domestic Violence: A
Stanley, UCLan — Children and Families Experiencing Domestic
Violence: Police and
Children's Social Services Responses. Funding: £122,000 from NSPCC
Stanley, UCLan — Men's Messages: Research to Inform a Social
Marketing Campaign for
Male Perpetrators of Domestic Violence. Funding: £52,000 from Hull
Stanley, UCLan: Evaluation of Perpetrators of Domestic Violence
£110,000 from NHS Hull, 2009-2010
Stanley, UCLan: Research Review: Children Experiencing Domestic
£12,000 from Research Into Practice, 2010-11.
All published papers were peer reviewed. The research review commissioned
by RIP and
the final project report for the NSPCC were also subject to rigorous peer
Details of the impact
The NSPCC study has achieved a wide reach assisted by dissemination
national and international conferences attended by practitioners, policy
researchers from social work, health, the police and the voluntary sector.
Managers in local
authority children's services in Croydon and Lancashire have reported
using the study
findings to inform restructuring of their service response to domestic
violence. The research
was cited in the House of Commons and House of Lords Joint Committee on
(2010) [A] in its report on the Children, Schools and Families Bill in
relation to the proposal to
introduce protection orders in England and Wales; these are currently
being piloted. The
findings in relation to relaxing the time restrictions on the timing of
discussed with Jacky Tiotto, Director of the DCSF's National Safeguarding
Delivery Unit, and
these proposals were included in Munro's (2011) Review of Child Protection
[B]: Tiotto was a
member of the DfE team supporting Munro. The Munro Review also cited the
that separation should not be the goal of intervention since domestic
violence occurred post-
separation in over half the cases studied. The policy changes resulting
from the Munro
Review have impacted on the organisation and delivery of social work in
domestic violence cases and consequently on the experience of children and
contact with social workers.
The Men's Talk study was commissioned to inform a social
marketing campaign aimed at
abusive men and its findings were used directly in the campaign which was
Hull in 2009 and 2010 using a range of media. An evaluation of the impact
of the campaign
(Francas 2010) found that 60% of Hull men surveyed had noticed the
campaign and one in
three exposed to the campaign described their thinking on domestic
violence as changed by
the campaign. The research can therefore be said to have played a
significant role in shifting
attitudes to domestic violence in the local population and in preparing
the targeted group to
utilise the new service for abusive men.
This was the first social marketing campaign to be targeted on male
perpetrators of domestic
violence in England and Wales and it was cited by government as a model of
[C]. The research and the ensuing campaign have been widely disseminated at
international conferences including presentations by invitation at Peking
University of Melbourne and Griffith University. The study informed the
design of the
Strength to Change Service for male perpetrators of domestic violence
which has been
operating in Hull since 2009 and which, in its first 18 months, was
contacted by 210 abusive
men providing a service to 37% of these. The evaluation of the service
identified a need for
service developments including intensification of programme delivery and an
staff (both recommendations were implemented); and the evaluation has been
securing continuing funding for the service. The social marketing campaign
Strength to Change service embody a new public health model for engagement
perpetrators of domestic violence which has influenced similar campaigns
such as the
national `I'm a Real Man' campaign run by Women's Aid in 2011.
Stanley's review of research on children experiencing domestic violence
was distributed to
all Directors of Children's Services and a briefing study for lead members
Services in England and Wales was produced. The review has been
national conferences — in Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as England
practitioners, managers and policy makers and has attracted considerable
Directors of Children's Services have used the review to assist
restructuring local services (see Jones) and it has informed planning for
the Domestic Abuse (Wales) Bill and national guidance produced by the
Executive in Ireland [D] for health and social care professionals in 2013.
The review has
therefore contributed to the management and delivery of social work with
families experiencing domestic violence and to children's and families'
experience of those
As a consequence of this body of work, Stanley was appointed to the NICE
Development Group developing guidance for health and social care services
violence. The research described here was included in the evidence
reviewed in the draft
guidance [E] and has ensured that the needs of children experiencing
domestic violence are
at the forefront of the guidance due to be published in 2014. This has
enabled the body of
research described here to achieve both reach and significance.
Sources to corroborate the impact
A. House of Commons and House of Lords Joint Committee on Human Rights
Legislative Scrutiny: Children, Schools and Families Bill; Other
Bills. Eighth Report of
Session 200-10. HL Paper 57, HC 369. London: The Stationery Office.
B. Munro, E (2011) The Munro Review of Child Protection: Final Report.
C. HM Government (2009) Together We Can End Violence Against Women
and Girls: A
Consultation Paper. London: Home Office.
D. Health Service Executive (2013) HSE Practice Guide on Domestic,
Gender Based Violence: For staff working with children and
families. Dublin: Health
E. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (2013) Public
Guidance: Domestic violence and abuse: how social care, health services
they work with can identify, prevent and reduce domestic violence and
Contact 1: Louise Robinson, former Domestic Violence Clinical and
Strategy Lead, NHS
Contact 2: Kevin Jones, Assistant Director, Cumbria Children's Services.