MySpace course

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MySpace course
MySpace Project
Information
April 2015
Working to prevent the children of today from
becoming the troubled families of tomorrow
Welcare supports children up to 13 years
old and families who are experiencing
challenges in their lives. We provide
family support, advocacy, volunteer
mentors, skills training, parenting groups,
counselling and domestic abuse recovery
programmes for children across our
centres based in South London, Bromley
and East Surrey.
Welcare was established in 1894 and has
an excellent reputation in the
communities in which we work.
What is MySpace?
MySpace is an interactive 12 week course run by Welcare in
partnership with local schools to support children who have
witnessed domestic abuse.
MySpace enables children from homes where domestic abuse has
occurred to confront and manage their experiences. For many
children, the witnessing of domestic abuse will affect their behaviour,
self-esteem, concentration and general emotional development.
Recovery for these children is vital to allow them to move forward in
their lives and experience happy, fulfilled childhoods, and to make the
most of their educational opportunities.
Improved conflict
resolution skills
Increased ability to
maintain safety
Increased ability to identify
& express feelings
Course
Outcomes
Increased positive
social behaviour
Increased recognition
of abuse
Decreased tolerance
for abuse
How does MySpace operate?
The programme is delivered by two Family Support Workers who cofacilitate the group with the help of a volunteer. Courses are run
according to age group and children are only able to attend once they
are living in different accommodation from the perpetrator. It is
advised that siblings or children in the same class at school do not
access the programme at the same time.
Each course will support between ten and twelve children over 12
weeks during the school term, with each session lasting 2 hours.
Parents are invited to attend monthly support groups in which we
share with them the topics covered in the programme and provide
them with information and strategies to continue to
support their children at home.
Around 90% of our referred cases have had some history or
experience of domestic abuse. Whilst working with the parents and
families, our workers noticed the children’s need to talk about their
own experiences.
Having searched for services and support for children who have
experienced domestic abuse, we concluded that there was little
available. Our staff have been trained to fill this void and to provide
this support.
The group setting allows children to realise that they are not alone
and are not the only ones to have these experiences. Many children
feel like the “odd one out” in their school, not realising that other
children may share the same situations.
The Course
Weeks 1 & 2 - Welcome to the group & group rules
Week 3 - Feelings
Week 4 - Feelings and Defining Abuse
Week 5 - Children’s Experiences of Violence & Abuse
In their families
Week 6 - Staying Safe When Abuse Happens: My
Personal Safety Plan
Week 7 - Beginning to Understand Responsibility
for Abuse
Week 8 - Anger is important: Understanding and
Expressing It
Week 9 – Learning about problems: How to solve
them in positive ways
Weeks 10 & 11 - The Best Me I Can Be: Self-Esteem/
Saying Goodbye
Week 12 - Graduation Ceremony
How MySpace helps
The course is designed to support
children to:

Process in a supportive environment their
experiences of witnessing domestic abuse

Recognise and understand the importance
of their feelings about the incidents of
domestic abuse they have witnessed

Explore opportunities to deal with these
feelings and find positive ways of responding
to situations in a safe and constructive way

Have the opportunity to hear experiences of
children in similar situations thereby reducing
their feelings of isolation

Raise their self-esteem

Improve their relationships within their own
family unit
Why Welcare?
At Welcare we have 120 years experience working with
disadvantaged, marginalised and struggling families. We provide an
holistic approach for families experiencing difficult circumstances.
Our workers and volunteers use their experience to identify all areas
that may be affecting a child or family at the time they approach us.
Every child is an individual and every family is unique. Our proven
ways of working enable them to find the solutions that work for
them.
We work across South London and East Surrey from our communitybased centres. Welcare has a long, established history of building
strong local links and relationships, and we look forward to
strengthening these further by running MySpace in partnership with
local schools.
Two of our Family Support Workers attended a 3 day training course
by AVA (Against Violence & Abuse) to enable them to run the
MySpace project by building on their existing experience.
In April 2013 our Family Support Workers completed a 10 week pilot
course at a school in Bromley for Key Stage 2 (aged 8-11 years). An
evaluation report was produced by Coram following the pilot. We
recently completed a 12 week programme at a second Bromley
school for 10 children (Years 3 and 4 – children aged 8-10 years) with
a concurrent monthly support group for the parents.
In both cases parents and children reported significant benefits and
schools reported positive developments in children's behaviour and
educational attainment. Testimonials can be provided upon request.
Evaluation
Two questionnaires (Coram and AVA) are completed by each child
on the first and final sessions of the programme to assess the
changes in their understanding of, and attitude towards, situations
relating to domestic abuse and violence in general. Parents also
complete a questionnaire at the beginning and end of the
programme.
After every session, the group co-facilitators discuss each child
noting relevant observations and agree how best to support the
child. Verbal feedback is gathered from telephone calls with
parents and at the monthly parenting group. Feedback is also
obtained from the school and any other relevant professionals. A
final evaluation report is completed 6 months after the completion
of MySpace.
A follow up group, Stay Connected, is offered to families in
order to continue good communication between parents and children in a stimulating, informal environment.
Our Partnership
Benefits for schools include:
 Previously troubled children better
placed to learn
 Improved behaviour in children
affected by domestic abuse
 A targeted intervention to prevent
problems in children escalating
 Support for children’s personal
development and preparation for
life
 Excellent value for money with a
small investment levering in
significantly larger resources
 Welcare will provide group facilities,
materials, evaluation, home visits as
necessary and a parent support
group
Contribution from school:
Contribution rates are negotiable and
Welcare will adapt to meet the needs
and budget of each school. A minimum
agreed upon fee will be required to
ensure commitment.
If you think you might be interested do
contact us to discuss how we can help
you. Contact details can be found at
the back of this leaflet.
“It helps you to focus on other things than home” - Kia, 8
“If you have a problem they can help you to sort it out” Jack, 8
“I would recommend other children to go” - Layla, 9
“I have found it fun. It helps me learn what to do if I see
people arguing. Stay upstairs, not to try break it up, or go
next door for help” - Mo, 8
“Every time I go it gets better, and I learn how to change
my life, and I then talk to my mum about it at the end of
the day” - Rebecca, 8
“I think an important theme is that they are empowered to
talk about issues and problems, and understand that when
things happen it is not their fault” - Teacher
“Kieran has become more focused and more involved with
the lessons. He seems quite happy”
- Teacher
“Welcare is an invaluable service provided by no
others” - Zarah, mother
“MySpace has really helped my daughter to develop,
by teaching her how to handle situations better in
a more mature way rather than shouting and
arguing” - Lisa, mother
“I would like to thank the team for their commitment. It’s been a success for my family”
- Michael, father
Our Centres
Bromley
[email protected]
020 8466 0399
East Surrey
[email protected]
01737 780 884
Greenwich
[email protected]
020 8854 3865
Richmond
[email protected]
020 8893 9123
Wandsworth
[email protected]
0208 672 9372
Head Office
[email protected]
020 7820 7910
For a hardcopy of this leaflet please contact us on 0207 820 7910.
If you would like to help us continue our services for children and
families in South London, Bromley and East Surrey, please
consider making a regular or single donation, or volunteering at
one of our centres. Please visit our website for further details.
Southwark Diocesan Welcare
19 Frederick Crescent
London SW9 6XN
T: 020 7820 7910
E: [email protected]
www.welcare.org
Southwark Diocesan Welcare is a registered charity (1107859)
and a company limited by guarantee (5275749 )

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