TRAIN has been working to support Traveller and Romani families who are experiencing child protection involvement since 2015. It was set up to respond to urgent need and because no other specific support for Traveller and Romani children and families in child protection existed in the UK.
Since 2015, TRAIN has been providing free telephone advice and support to parents whose children are in need, at risk, or are in the care system, and with members of the wider family or community who are raising children unable to remain at home. TRAINs main aim has been working on capacity building to help Traveller and Romani communities to help themselves. TRAIN has always been managed by two volunteer social workers and each year the work that TRAIN has been involved in has grown. In 2017, for example, TRAIN provided help and support to 61 families. TRAIN enabled people's voices to be heard, and it has enabled the situation of child protection to reconsidered and to be taken seriously. Whilst advocating for one family a Judge made it clear that without TRAINs involvement the outcome of Care Proceedings would have been quite different.
Today a growing number of organisations are beginning to see and exploit the need to provide help and support to families in matters related to child protection. There is now money available to organisations so that they can fund advocates, online media tools, training videos and information services and all of the other things that TRAIN has been providing. What TRAIN has done for the last 3 years on a free and voluntary basis, other well meaning organisations are now receiving payment to do as well. For this reason, the work that TRAIN has been championing has come to a natural end.
The fact that more organisations are working to support Traveller and Romani families who are experiencing child protection services is fantastic. As many of these organisations are also grassroots Traveller and Romani Community groups, TRAIN's aim to work on capacity building to help Traveller and Romani communities to help themselves has seemingly been achieved, not through consultation though, but by example, innovation and leadership.
TRAIN hopes that those people who found the strength to ask for help in the past will enable others in the future to speak out about the situation that they are in and to seek support early and without delay. It hopes that other well meaning funded services are able to understand and cope with the complexity of child protection policy, and it hopes that the new organisations taking over TRAIN's role are sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled to spot and challenge procedural irregularity and to fight for natural justice, without compromise, in a way that Traveller and Romani families urgently require and deserve.
Most importantly TRAIN hopes that the unique challenges faced by Traveller and Romani families in Child Protection will not be dismissed, minimised or denied. If the significant discrimination that Traveller and Romani face in child protection is not taken seriously, all of the work that TRAIN has tried to achieve and all of the lobbying work it has done will be undone.
Traveller and Romani Advice and Information Network
What is Domestic Abuse?
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is the abuse of one partner within an intimate or family relationship. It is the repeated, random and habitual use of intimidation to control a partner.
The abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. Anyone forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened of their partner’s reaction is being abused.
Who does it affect?
Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity.
It happens in all kinds of relationships. Statistics show the vast majority of domestic violence incidents are carried out by men and experienced by women
When does it happen?
It can begin at any stage of the relationship
What causes domestic violence?
Domestic violence is caused by the abuser’s desire for power and control. It stems from an imbalance of power.
It is not caused by alcohol, drugs, unemployment, stress or ill health. These are only excuses or justifications for an abuser’s behaviour.
Domestic abuse can include:
Children and young people witnessing domestic abuse
Witnessing domestic abuse is really distressing and scary for a child, and causes serious harm. Children living in a home where domestic abuse is happening are at risk of other types of abuse too. Children can experience domestic abuse or violence in lots of different ways. They might:
Teenagers experiencing domestic abuse
Domestic abuse can happen in any relationship, and it affects young people too.
They may not realise that what's happening is abuse. Even if they do, they might not tell anyone about it because they're scared of what will happen, or ashamed about what people will think.
Are you experiencing domestic violence?
Do you know of someone who is experiencing abuse and may need help and support?
The Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge, is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf.
24-hour National Domestic Violence
0808 2000 247
Run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge