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Operation Encompass: supporting children and young people exposed to domestic abuse

Operation Encompass is a partnership between police and schools, and it is now in place in all 43 police forces in England and Wales.

On 24 May 2024, the Victims and Prisoners Act received Royal Assent, which now places a statutory obligation on all police forces in England and Wales to participate in Operation Encompass. 

Operation Encompass is a police and education early information-sharing partnership enabling schools to offer immediate support to children and young people experiencing domestic abuse.

Operation Encompass ensures there is a phone call or notification to a trained member of school staff before the start of the next school day after an incident of police-attended domestic abuse where there are children related to either of the adult parties involved.

This timely information sharing enables appropriate support to be provided for that child so that all interactions, from when the child first arrives at the school gates, are of a positive nature.

The Operation Encompass website provides free training for key adults. This training creates an awareness of Operation Encompass throughout a school; informs the participant about key facts concerning domestic abuse; and explains to school staff how to communicate the school's Operation Encompass participation to the broader school community and stakeholders, how Operation Encompass mitigates the effects of domestic abuse on children and its broader consequent benefits.

You can also find resources to support schools, including a number of handbooks covering topics such as the following:

Operation Encompass has also provided a review of helpful books for use in the curriculum and produced a template statement that schools can add to their safeguarding policy to highlight their participation in Operation Encompass.

In addition, there's a new handbook by Operation Encompass in response to children being recently recognised as victims of domestic violence in their own right. This booklet sets out the Child's Victim Support Code, which you can read more about here.

If you have received an Operation Encompass call about a child in your school or are concerned about a child or children in your school who are experiencing domestic abuse, Operation Encompass provides a helpline for school staff.

For free advice from an education psychologist about how best to support a child, call the Operation Encompass teachers' national helpline on 020 4513 9990, open Monday to Friday from 8am to 1pm.

First published 24 May 2024