Practitioners section

We all have a role in helping to combat domestic abuse and to safeguard children and vulnerable adults.

There are links to a range of guidance documents on this website which can guide you to using best practice.

Domestic Abuse Stalking Harassment Risk

Indicator Checklist (DASH/RIC)

  • A set of questions to identify, assess and manage risk.
  • Improves decision making around risk management, provides victim with appropriate safeguarding needs and provides evidence to support disruption of those that harm behaviours
  • To help front line practitioners identify high-risk cases of domestic abuse, stalking and ‘honour’-based violence for victims from the age of 16
  • To decide which cases should be referred to MARAC and what other support might be required.
  • A completed form becomes an active record that can be referred to in future for case management.
  • To offer a common tool to agencies that are part of the MARAC process and provide a shared understanding of risk in relation to domestic abuse, stalking and ‘honour’-based violence.
  • To enable agencies to make defensible decisions based on the evidence from extensive research of cases, including domestic homicides and ‘near misses’, which underpins most recognised models of risk assessment.
  • If there is immediate Risk of Significant Harm Call 999.
  • If you are concerned about risk to a child/children or an adult then you should make a referral to the Multi-Agency safeguarding and Support Hub on 0161 217 6028 or online via the
  • Adults 0161 217 6029

MARAC: Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference

A MARAC is a meeting where information is shared on the highest risk domestic abuse cases between representatives of local police, health, housing practitioners, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors

(IDVAs), probation and other specialists from the statutory and voluntary sectors.

After sharing all relevant information, the group of individual organisations that have had contact with the victim and connected children will share the risk. Out of that meeting each agency will take ownership and come away with actions to follow.

The MARAC will also make links with other agencies to safeguard children and manage the behaviour of the perpetrator.

At the heart of a MARAC is the working assumption that no single agency or individual can see the complete picture of the life of a victim, but all may have insights that are crucial to their safety. The victim does not attend the meeting but is represented by an IDVA who speaks on their behalf

The Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO) approach has two stages:

Where the police have reasonable grounds for believing that a perpetrator has used or threatened violence towards the victim and the victim is at risk of future violent behaviour, they can issue a Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN) on the spot, provided they have the authorisation of an officer at Superintendent rank.

The magistrates’ court must then hear the case for the Protection Order(DVPO) itself – which is the second step – within 48 hours of the Notice being made. If granted, the Order may last between a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 28 days. This strikes the right balance between immediate protection for the victim and judicial oversight.

The Guardian Project is a free service across Greater Manchester which coordinates care and support for girls and young women (up to 21 years old) affected by or at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

The Guardian Project – NESTAC




This newly developed 3-hour course is aimed at all practitioners working with adults and children. It aims to raise practitioners understanding of domestic abuse and what signs to look for. The course also explains the MARAC process and how to complete referrals and risk assessments.


  • Definitions of domestic abuse/HBV/FM
  • To raise awareness of practitioners understanding of Domestic Abuse and what signs to look for
  • How to respond
  • How to ask questions safely
  • Completing risk assessment (DASH/RIC)
  • Referral pathways –MARAC
  • Understand the role of Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA)
  • Information sharing
  • Sources of support

Booking Information

To get the Microsoft link to access training YOU NEED to go to ‘Attachments’ on your SLA Online Booking Page. The link can be found in the IMPORTANT PRE COURSE READING document. You will also find a pre and post course evaluation links that you will need to access on the day of the course when instructed to do so by the trainer(s).


Please note that all Safeguarding Children courses unless otherwise stated are ‘Straight to Booked’ courses. Confirmation emails are automatically sent after booking made.

For course enquires AND course cancellations, please email
Please cancel in writing 5 working days before the course date

This is a FREE Training Event.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022, which gained Royal Assent in April last year, has come into force today (27 February). It means that 16 and 17 year olds will no longer be allowed to marry or enter a civil partnership, even if they have parental consent.

  • The Act will raise the age of marriage and civil partnership to 18 in England and Wales to protect children from the scourge of forced marriage.
  • This means that 16 to 17-year-olds will no longer be able to marry or enter a civil partnership under any circumstances, including with parental or judicial consent from 26 February 2023. It will not be possible for anyone under 18 to marry or enter a civil partnership after this date.
  • Currently forced marriage is only an offence if the person uses a type of coercion, for example threats, to cause someone to marry, or if the person lacks capacity to consent to marry under the Mental Capacity Act. The Act will therefore also expand the criminal offence of forced marriage in England and Wales to make it an offence in all circumstances to do anything intended to cause a child to marry before they turn 18. It will therefore now be an offence to cause a child under the age of 18 to enter a marriage in any circumstances, without the need to prove that a form of coercion was used. The forced marriage offence will continue to include ceremonies of marriage which are not legally binding, for example in community or traditional settings.

Multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage and multi-agency practice guidelines: Handling cases of forced marriage:

Forced marriage: a survivor’s handbook.

Forced Marriage Protection Unit: Free Training.

Early Intervention and Prevention.

Education and awareness so everyone is aware of and able to recognise and respond to DV

Responding effectively to perpetrators.

So there are appropriate services for behaviour change

Working Together

As a partnership to co-produce our approach with professionals and victims, including children as victims in their own right.

Appropriate Housing

Working together to ensure we meet our statutory duties and provide our families with safe and appropriate homes

Post Abuse Support

Ensuring that as a partnership we continue to support to happy and healthy relationships post abusive relationships

Non-UK nationals are required to obtain leave to enter or remain in order to live in the UK, unless they have the right of abode or are exempt from immigration control. This includes European Economic Area nationals.

When leave to enter or remain is granted, conditions may be imposed on the person relating to their ability to undertake employment and access to public funds. Different conditions apply depending on the type of leave that the person has been granted. When limited leave to enter is granted to a person to visit, study, work, or join family in the UK, they will have the ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) condition imposed. A person who does not have any leave to enter or remain when they are required to have this will also have no recourse to public funds.

Who Has No Recourse To Public Funds: 

A person will have no recourse to public funds when they are ‘subject to immigration control’, as defined at section 115 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. A person who is subject to immigration control cannot claim public funds (benefits and housing assistance), unless an exception applies.

A person will be subject to immigration control when they have one of the following types of immigration status:

  • Leave to enter or remain, which is subject to the ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) condition, such as:
    • Leave to enter as a visitor
    • Leave to remain as a spouse
    • Leave to remain as a student
    • Leave to remain granted under family or private life rules
  • Leave to enter or remain that is subject to a maintenance undertaking, such as:
    • Indefinite leave to remain as the adult dependent relative of a person with settled status (five year prohibition on claiming public funds)
  • Leave to enter or remain as a result of a pending immigration appeal:
    • This could apply when a person has section 3C leave whilst an appeal against a refusal of leave to remain is pending
  • No leave to enter or remain when they are required to have this, such as:
    • A visa overstayer
    • An asylum seeker
    • An appeal rights exhausted (ARE) asylum seeker

When a person has leave to enter or remain that is subject to the NRPF condition, the term ‘no public funds’ will be stated on their residence permit, entry clearance vignette, biometric residence permit (BRP), or digital status.

Who has recourse to public funds:

A person who has recourse to public funds will be able to access benefits and housing assistance if they meet the relevant qualifying requirements.

A person can access public funds when they have one of the following types of immigration status:

  • Indefinite leave to enter or remain (unless they are granted indefinite leave as an adult dependent relative)
  • Right of abode
  • Exempt from immigration control
  • Refugee status
  • Humanitarian protection
  • Leave to remain granted under the family or private life rules, where they are accepted by the Home Office as being destitute or at risk of imminent destitution
  • Hong Kong BN(O) leave, where they are accepted by the Home Office as being destitute or at risk of imminent destitution
  • Pre-settled status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme, although they will need to satisfy a right to reside test to qualify for benefits and housing assistance
  • Discretionary leave to remain, such as:
    • Leave to remain granted to a person who has received a conclusive grounds decision that they are a victim of trafficking or modern day slavery
    • Destitution domestic violence concession
    • Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child (UASC) leave

There may be some instances when a person does not have a document to confirm their immigration status. A person in this position should not automatically be refused a service without further investigation into their circumstances to ensure that they are not wrongly denied a service they may be entitled to.

Victims with children: 

When a parent cannot access benefits and housing assistance due to having no recourse to public funds, their local council may have a duty to provide accommodation and financial support if their child is assessed as being in need by social services.

Children’s social care support is not classed as a public fund for immigration purposes and can be accessed by a person who is subject to the ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition. Children’s social care support is not classed as a public fund for immigration purposes and can be accessed by a person who is subject to the ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition.

A family with no recourse to public funds may be provided with accommodation and financial support by social services under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, when a child (under 18 years old) has been assessed by social services as being in need.

A child is highly likely to be found to be in need if they are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, or when their parents do not have sufficient resources to meet the family’s basic living needs.

When a family is referred to children social care for support, a child in need assessment would need to be carried out in line with the statutory guidance. In England this is: Working together to safeguard children, published by the Department for Education. The child in need assessment will include an investigation into the family’s housing and financial circumstances, and must consider how these impact on the children in the household in order to reach a conclusion about whether the child is in need. Children social care would also need to take into account any additional needs, such as a child’s disability.

When a family is homeless and/or has no income available to meet their basic living needs, emergency support may be provided whilst assessments are being carried out.

Legal Aid: 

In England and Wales legal aid is funded by the UK Government to enable people who have a low income to access free legal advice.

Legal aid is not classed as a public fund for immigration purposes and can be accessed by a person regardless of their immigration status, including a person who is subject to the ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition.

Within Greater Manchester we have commissioned the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit to provide individuals who have no recourse to public funds with specialist legal advice and support to protect them from destitution or having to return to an abusive situation. Referrals can be made via Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (

For further information and guidance please see the below links:


NRPF Network

Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (

Supporting women at risk of violence and abuse with no recourse to public funds LEAFLET DRAFT (


Safety planning is critical when working with victims of domestic abuse. However, we need to be mindful of the context in which safety plans are being completed. For example a safety planning when a victim is remaining in the relationship is very different to a safety planning when someone has left the relationship.

There also needs to be consideration to children within the family, can they be part of the safety planning and have they got a trusted adult they can talk too. Can they be taught how to call 999 in an emergency and practise what they need to say (e.g. full name, address and telephone number). You could also teach them the Silent Solution, where a caller can press 55 to tell the 999 operator that they are in an emergency and can’t speak out loud. They can also contact 999 in British Sign Language for free by visiting the website or downloading the app. 

Additionally, a safety plan is not a one off piece of work that should be completed with the victim and children, it is something that needs to be continuously revisited and updated.

If in doubt seek advice and support from your team manager.

Below are some examples of safety plans. (Please remember that a safety plan is an individual document that needs to be specific to the victim and children you are working with)

Keeping safe – End The Fear

I want to leave my relationship safely – Women’s Aid (

A Safety Planning Worksheet (

Cafcass represents children in family court cases in England. We independently advise the family courts about what is safe for children and in their best interests. We put their needs, wishes and feelings first, making sure that children’s voices are heard at the heart of the family court setting. Operating within the law set by Parliament (Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000) and under the rules and directions of the family courts, we are independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies.

Home – Cafcass – Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service

Caring Dads is a 17-week group programme for fathers (or men whose partners have children), where there has been conflict and domestic abuse.

The Caring Dads course works with fathers to change patterns of abusive behaviours, increase fathers’ awareness of child-centred fathering, and to promote respectful co-parenting with children’s mothers.

Caring Dads is not a parenting course but is designed to meet the needs of fathers who have been abusive to their children’s mother, through the lens of being a “caring” dad.

The goals of a Caring Dad’s group are to improve fathers’ relationship with their child and family, and to help them to better understand children’s development and needs.

  • Fathers are eligible if they have been physically or emotionally abusive towards their children’s mother, or if they have separated, but continue to have a hostile relationship with the children’s mother.
  • The course is suitable for medium to high-risk perpetrators.
  • The father must have regular contact with their child/children.
  • The father must have a willingness to undertake the course and consent must be gained by the social worker to make a referral.
  • The father does not have to be the child’s biological father, can be a stepfather.
  • Importantly, the children must be open to Social Care and the case cannot close while the father is participating in the course.
  • The mothers’(victims) agreement is sought as part of the assessment for suitability.

For any enquiries about courses or eligibility please contact

Caring Dads

Or for telephone discussion contact Dan Rowlands Email:

Mobile: 07866999585

Or Ashrafa Khanom

Mobile: 07580570045



The New Beginnings programme is a 24-week trauma and attachment-informed course designed to support parents whose children are subject to child protection measures.


  • The parent will attend group work every week with other parents.  These are restorative sessions which offer support and challenge.  We explore trauma, trauma triggers, trust, shame, communication styles and skills, blame shifting, taking responsibility and how to regulate intense emotions.


  • The parent will receive 1-2-1 support from a key worker who visits them at their home.  An adult attachment interview is conducted and coded to identify what attachment strategy the parent uses.  The key worker will then work alongside the parent to create a timeline of key events in their past and explore the impact.  These conversations lead to insight about how the parent manages their thoughts and feelings, especially in the context of relationships with their children and with professionals.


  • Video Interaction Guidance is provided.  Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) is a strengths-based, brief intervention that promotes attunement, sensitivity, and mentalization in the parent-child relationship.


  • QbChecks can be conducted to confirm if the parent is displaying ADHD traits.  If confirmed, New Beginnings will support the client to seek further assessment.


  • Parents are very welcome to attend our SMART Recovery group where addiction is a concern.  SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) is a programme that provides training and tools for people who want to change their problematic behaviour, including addiction to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, food, shopping, Internet, and others.


  • The parent’s key worker attends all child protection meetings and provides updates regarding the parent’s progress.


  • Post-programme support is provided following completion of the course.  We have a dedicated post-programme support worker who facilitates a post-programme group each week.


  • ‘Life Laundry’ is a dialectical behaviour therapy-informed workshop particularly helpful for parents struggling with emotion regulation.  This is open to parents who have completed the programme.


Should you have any further questions and want to know more about the referral process please contact  The website provides further information also.  In addition, the New Beginnings podcast is now available, discussing developments in our practice.  For example, Lisa Wyche our Programme Facilitator is the mastermind behind our adaptation of timelines.  She is interviewed here and discusses what they are, how they work and the impact she’s seen personally with our parents.



The Lotus Hub is a specialist service for ethnically minoritized women experiencing gender-based violence within the Greater Manchester area. We support women (18+) who are at risk of or affected by gendered violence including but not limited to domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based abuse, female genital mutilation, and domestic servitude. We support women regardless of their immigration status and specifically provide support to women who don’t have access to public funds (NRPF).

The Lotus Hub runs a specialist helpline for both professionals and women to contact.

The helpline (Mon – Fri; 10 am – 3 pm) and can be contacted on

  •  07894443756

Professionals are also able to contact the Lotus Hub via our email:

If professionals want to refer women in, please email or call us and we will complete the referral form with you, prior to contacting the woman.

The Lotus Hub brings together the expertise of five specialist organisations including: Safety4SistersNESTACOlive PathwaySaheli, and Rochdale Women’s Welfare Association.

Support provided to women will include access to:

  • Advocacy and advice
  • One-to-one case work
  • Emergency NRPF accommodation
  • Counselling
  • Peer and Group Therapy.