Havering London Borough Council Case Study

The Challenge

Identifying Domestic Violence and Abuse Signs

The objectives of undertaking the training were as follows:

1. Learn more about Domestic Violence and Abuse and how best to support victims and keep them safe.

2. How to identify DVA and what signs to look out for

3. Learning how to spot DVA signs in children and vulnerable adults

4. Gain greater awareness of new tools to identify DVA situations in hostels

It was also important that staff could easily share the training together and ensure they could discuss thoughts and experiences. They decided online training would be the best way to meet all their requirements.

About Havering London Borough Council

Havering London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Havering in Greater London, England. The housing services provide several housing
options for those in need, including arranging council housing, supporting tenants, supplying information to both landlords and tenants, and providing sheltered housing.

As part of their role, the Housing Services staff are required to understand the background of the occupants they house, some of which are victims of domestic violence and abuse (DVA). Within the department they felt they were lacking in their DVA knowledge and understanding and wanted to make sure they knew how to respond, be empathetic and take swift action. In order to develop the quality of skills and knowledge they required, they knew they had to complete industry-standard training.

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At the end of the course I felt that I was better equipped to address difficult situations. My entire outlook and general approach changed after undertaking this course
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Karen Reed, Tenancy Sustainment Manager


Karen Reed, Tenancy Sustainment Manager at the Havering Council, searched for a relevant domestic violence and abuse online course that would fulfil her team’s training needs. She was drawn to Virtual College’s DVA course as it was CPD accredited, so knew it was a respected training course within the industry. It was also possible to easily and quickly buy several licenses, which was the perfection solution for allowing the whole team to be trained together in a simple and cost-effective way.


The 25 staff members who completed the course found it a positive experience and felt they had gained a better understanding overall about DVA and how to
support victims.

They shared their positive experiences:

“I have learnt what signs to look out for, be direct, gained more confidence in dealing with DVA and a better understanding over all”.

“At the end of the course I felt that I was better equipped to address difficult situations. My entire outlook and general approach changed after undertaking this course”

It not only built their confidence and left them better equipped, but the experience of doing the training as a team had several benefits, as it allowed them to share their experiences and discuss the topic and their progress. They found the course was a great complement to group training.

Karen commented on how useful the training was for the team:

“The training has been useful to our front-line staff in recognising DVA, how to support victims and the impact DVA has. The training has evoked further discussions and we will build on this learning as an organisation”

Lastly, the course content also supported a presentation given by the DVA caseworker aiming to pass a bill within parliament by using references to safeguarding legislation within the training

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