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Rising Sun Domestic Violence and Abuse Service - Organisation Statement in relation to the Covid-19 Outbreak (26/03/2020)

March 30, 2020 1:12 PM

We would like to update you on Rising Sun's response to the Covid-19 outbreak. This will be reviewed as the situation progresses and government guidelines develop.

We are very concerned that self-isolation and social distancing restrictions will present increasing challenges and risks for survivors of domestic abuse and their families. We anticipate there will be increased household tension and domestic violence due to forced coexistence, economic stress, and fears about the virus.

Therefore as an organisation we are committed to continuing to meet the needs of service users during this time of uncertainty and beyond, and are adapting some of the ways we work to enable us to do so. We have identified three key priorities for this period.

  1. Women and children continue to feel safe and supported
    • We will share the load to make sure we continue to provide a responsive and needs led
    • We will train and support staff to meet demand.
    • We will develop new ways of working to enable us to support clients safely while restrictions are in place.
  2. Staff well-being is maintained
    • We will provide a structure of support for the team.
    • We will keep staff informed in a timely manner.
    • We will be considerate of staff needs and skills.
  3. Rising Sun is prepared for the future
    • We will pull together to continue to deliver outputs and outcomes.
    • We will work efficiently and economically.
    • We will plan ahead and review regularly.

At present, our team are all working remotely and contactable by email, phone or video call, enabling us to communicate with adults and young people to provide safety, advice and support.

We will continue to update and communicate via platforms such as our website and telephone answering service as we respond to updates, advice and guidance from the government and wider networks.

Below is a summary of our services and any adaptations currently in place. If you are looking to make a referral, please continue to follow the usual processes and referral pathways. We will be in touch with referrers to look at and discuss the best and most workable options for support.

Please do feel able to contact us with any queries or concerns you may have either by phone 01227 452852 or email at admin@risingsunkent.com.

Confidential Helpline

  • Our confidential helpline (01227 452852) is still available 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
  • We are monitoring the number and type of calls we receive and are considering extending helpline hours to evenings and weekends if needed and if we have capacity.

Community Adult Services

  • IDVA, outreach and mentoring services continue, offering telephone or online video support.
  • Staff are not attending One Stop Shops but posters have been displayed at One Stop Shop locations directing service users to call our confidential helpline.
  • Alternative arrangements are in place for solicitor appointments.
  • Phoenix, Freedom and Family Now groups have been suspended and check in calls with clients will be made throughout the period of restrictions.
  • Counselling is being carried out via telephone or online video calls.

Hospital IDVA Service

  • We are providing a remote HIDVA service to William Harvey Hospital and Darent Valley Hospital, offering telephone support.

Children and Young People Services

  • Our ICan project continues (one-to-one male adolescent service), offering telephone or online video support.
  • Guiding Lights (healthy relationships) groups have been postponed and check in calls with clients will be made throughout the period of restrictions. We are investigating creation of video session recordings and more one-to-one support will be offered to adolescent girls via phone or video call.
  • Youth groups have been postponed and check in calls with clients will be made throughout the period of restrictions.
  • Holiday activities for children and young people have been cancelled.
  • Place 4 Me groups for children have been suspended.
  • Rising Sun workers have developed activity packs for the children and dropped them off at homes.
  • Family support is being provided through check in calls to parents.
  • Our counselling service for young people is being carried out via telephone or online video calls.

Other Services

  • ICan Practitioner workshops have been postponed, we are investigating how we can deliver these online via webinar / video recordings and online Q&A sessions.
  • Delivery of domestic abuse training sessions has been postponed.