2017 has been an exciting year for the Foundation. We celebrated two years of working together to transform lives at an event at the House of Lords in June, hosted by our trustee, Baroness Stedman-Scott, by kind permission of the Lord Speaker. The event was a fantastic opportunity to thank everyone for their essential contributions to our shared journey so far, listen to the voices of service users, who gave compelling accounts of the impact of the Foundation’s work on their lives, and to look ahead to the future with the launch a new name for our flagship programme - For Baby’s Sake. The Foundation continues its work to highlight domestic abuse as an issue blighting lives across the UK and beyond, raising the profile of our own and others’ innovative approaches and the potential impact of whole family, trauma-informed and strengths-based practice. We use social media and other channels to get the message across, most recently during the international ‘16 days of action against domestic violence’, tweeting regularly to support the campaign, sharing quotes from our service users and paying tribute to the midwives supporting our work. One quotation from a father, which really touched our hearts, was ‘I’ve cried out for help all through my life and nobody came, up until now, on this programme. I never want my baby to feel that no one cares'. Our two For Baby’s Sake teams, in Hertfordshire and in Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham (the ‘three boroughs’ area of London), continue to work tirelessly to transform the lives of babies, children and families affected by domestic abuse. As caseloads build, the challenge of supporting service users to engage in the programme while working with local multi-agency partners and promoting For Baby’s Sake also builds. The information we gather from our For Baby’s Sake service users about their past histories, number of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and current lives highlights the complexity of their needs and the importance of practitioners’ skills and abilities to form strong, therapeutic relationships. Service users’ feedback, gathered by our own practitioners and by King’s College London during their evaluation of the programme, demonstrates not only the strength of these relationships but also the effectiveness of For Baby’s Sake in supporting and sustaining behaviour change and transforming lives. New team members join For Baby’s Sake
The Foundation is very pleased to welcome two new practitioners to our For Baby’s Sake teams. Lee Cooper joined the Hertfordshire Team as a new Men’s Practitioner on the 4th of December 2017. Lee has ten years of experience in the criminal justice system, working extensively on the rehabilitation of domestic violence offenders through the delivery of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) - based programmes in groups and in one-to-one sessions. Most recently, Lee has been working as part of the Hertfordshire Domestic Violence project within the Family Safeguarding Team and also is a sessional worker delivering the Caring Dads programme across Hertfordshire. Marcia Miller joins the Foundation on 18 December as a new Women’s Practitioner in the London Three Boroughs Team. Marcia comes with an impressive array of skills and experience in the field of domestic abuse with her most recent role being as an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) with the King’s College Hospital Safeguarding Team. Marcia appreciates that the For Baby’s Sake whole family approach offers a huge opportunity to develop and deepen her understanding of the effects of domestic abuse on families and babies in particular. Marcia’s effervescence and enthusiasm will be a real asset to the team.
Looking to the future … Looking ahead to 2018, the Foundation will be working to sustain For Baby’s Sake in Hertfordshire and London and also exploring how the programme could be rolled out to other areas. As ever, we’ll be relying on the goodwill and support of our friends and colleagues in the months and years ahead. To find out more about For Baby’s Sake and the Stefanou Foundation and how you could get involved in making it a success, visit our website at www.stefanoufoundation.org or firstname.lastname@example.org - we look forward to hearing from you!