Operation Encompass is a unique Police and Education early intervention safeguarding partnership which ensures that a child's school is informed, prior to the start of the next school day, that there has been an incident of Domestic Abuse to which the child or young person has been exposed.
Each school is informed of all Domestic Abuse incidents, not just those where an offence can be identified or those which are graded as high risk. The partnership recognises that all incidents of Domestic Abuse can be harmful to children and young people
The information from the police is passed via a telephone call to the school's designated safeguarding lead or their deputy (known as the Key Adult) thus ensuring that the information is passed to someone who has at least Level 3 safeguarding training and who understands how to manage confidential information in line with other child protection information.
All Key Adults attend a ½ day briefing led jointly by police and education which explains how the partnership works and the impact of Domestic Abuse, especially upon children and their ability to access education. This knowledge enables a school to offer support dependent upon the needs and wishes of the child; to make the child's day better and make their tomorrow better and, as a child victim said, 'if you are that child, believe me, that's all you really want'.
Operation Encompass links closely to the current Adverse Childhood Experiences agenda as living in a home where there is Domestic Abuse was identified by Felitti and Anda as an ACE in their original research study.
Operation Encompass is in place in 33 out of 43 police forces in England and Wales and has been recognised and supported by the inspection bodies of both police and education.
You can find further information about the project here.
First published 10 April 2018