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16 Days of Activism Blog – Referrals

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At Changing Pathways we receive over 1000 referrals for our services each year. Sally, our Duty Worker gives us an insight into her role, being the first point of contact for new referrals for our services.

Referrals for our services come from a variety of different sources including social services, housing, health visitors, schools and the individual themselves. For individuals reaching out themselves, this may be the first time they have told anyone about the abuse they are experiencing. My first priority is to ensure that they are at a place of safety and are able to talk. I take some basic details, talk through our confidentiality statement and then ask the individual to tell me about their experiences. I use this discussion as the basis for the completion of the DASH risk assessment. This assessment helps me to understand the level of risk of that individual and the types of domestic abuse that they are experiencing. I use this information to give the individual advice on their options such as housing options, getting legal advice and advising on the best of our service for their needs. I will also help with safety planning and referrals to other support organisations.

If the risk assessment demonstrates that the individual is at high risk of death or serious injury because of domestic abuse then I will make a referral to the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) which is a regular local meeting with statutory and voluntary agencies to share information and create an action plan for each individual with the aim of decreasing their risk and increasing their safety.

My other duties include: data collection and reporting; responding to emails from our general email inbox;  updating our website; post on our social media channels and managing our counselling service appointments.

You can download our referral form from our website here: changingpathways.org/community-services/

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