Adapt your approach so you do no harm
Apply your understanding about the dynamics of domestic violence. Consider what you have learned about the father’s use of violence by using a perpetrator pattern focus, and consider how his behaviour change can be encouraged through case planning.
Unlike with other risk issues, you will may need to have separate conversations with the mother and the father and consider the development of two separate case plans. This is critical to keep the mother and the child safe from violent repercussions.
Process of case planning
Case planning is more than the document that is developed with processes that include the children, young people, family and network at a family group meeting . Case planning involves
- plan development
- monitoring and review.
You will need to meet with the mother without the father’s knowledge to talk through the case plan. You will then need to document what you have talked about. If you give a written case plan to the mother, talk to her about where it will be safe to keep this.
Remember to include a safety and support network in your meeting with the mother including family, friends, community members and other professionals.
Case plan with fathers even if mothers leave the relationship
If the mother leaves the relationship, you will still need to case plan with the father.
There is a risk that the father’s violence may escalate post-separation. Creating sustained safety relies on you continuing to engage him in a process of change, even if he is not the primary caregiver. This recognises the risk he poses even if he is not in the home.
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