New specialist integrated service launches for domestic abuse survivors

A brand new, bespoke integrated domestic violence and abuse accommodation and outreach service is set to open in Newcastle.

28 Nov 2016

Newcastle City Council, in partnership with Leazes Homes and with support from the Homes and Communities Agency is launching a new specialist, purpose built supported accommodation facility for women and their children who are experiencing domestic violence and abuse.

Thirteen Care and Support have been commissioned by the council and Leazes Homes to deliver this specialist integrated service, which in addition to providing safe and secure accommodation, includes support for children and young people, outreach support to enable people to live safely in the community and specialist advisors supporting people who are at high risk from harm of domestic abuse. This new service is called Newcastle Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (NIDAS).

This unique specialist service is staffed by a highly skilled and specialist workforce, and responds directly to needs identified by people who have previously used domestic abuse support services and refuges. The scope of the service has also been shaped by providers across the city who delivered these services.

Investment in the new building gave a unique opportunity to create 14 new self-contained apartments with a mix of one, two and three bedrooms, providing vulnerable women and children with their own safe space where they can have privacy and opportunities to create their own family environment. The building will be staffed on a 24-7 basis, and tenants will be able to receive support as and when they need it. Tenants will also have access to a number of well-appointed communal spaces, including bespoke space for older children and an Ofsted registered playroom that is staffed with specialist children and family workers providing therapeutic support.

The new building is the heart of the new integrated service, and also provides office space for refuge and resettlement staff, hot desking for outreach workers and the team of specialist independent domestic violence and sexual violence advisors.

Cllr Joyce McCarty, Deputy Leader of Newcastle City Council said: “We have listened very carefully to what domestic violence and abuse survivors have told us is important to them in these difficult times - about how distressing it was to have to repeat their story and relive experiences.

“Our new integrated service will offer specialist expertise in a custom-built environment, with a single point of contact that will enable people to be supported flexibly as individuals, and in a culturally appropriate way that responds to their own specific needs.

“The council is committed to protecting and supporting the most vulnerable, and this unique service offers a safe haven that will allow survivors to start their journey to recovery, and giving them the confidence to make a new home for their families and start to rebuild their lives.”

Jon Mitford, Managing Director of Leazes Homes said: “Leazes Homes has a strong track record of working in partnership with Newcastle City Council to provide housing for vulnerable people, and we are very proud to be involved with this new, integrated approach to helping those experiencing domestic violence.”

“This new facility has been sensitively developed to really cater to the needs of residents requiring specialist support and this is something Leazes Homes is committed to delivering across the city. We already provide supported housing for older people, young families and those with learning and physical disabilities and we’re developing accommodation to help those with dementia live independently too. We’re keen to continue working with Newcastle City Council for the benefit of all residents.”

Chris Smith, Director of Business Development from Thirteen Care and Support said: “Thirteen has a long track record in delivering services to people who need vital support at key stages in their lives, this includes over 10 years experience in successfully managing domestic abuse services.

“This new facility brings together all of the elements that will make a real and lasting difference to enable families and individuals to feel safe, secure and supported. We are looking forward to working with the council and Changing Lives to provide this integrated service, and I would like to thank the Thirteen staff who have worked hard to get everything in place so we can start helping the people who need it most.”

The new Newcastle Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (NIDAS) will provide:

  • a single point of contact through a 24 hour telephone service which provides information, advice and guidance, carries out an assessment of need and also admits people into the service
  • crisis accommodation and resettlement support for women, and their children, within the new building, offering self-contained units of accommodation, one which is fully DDA compliant
  • specialised support for children, young people and families who are accessing the integrated service
  • preventative outreach support for men and women
  • Independent Domestic Violence Advice (IDVA) and Independent Sexual Violence Advice (ISVA) for people at high risk of harm.

Newcastle Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (NIDAS) goes live on Thursday 1 December 2016 – www.newcastleidas.co.uk