The DVIP Family Court Team are a small team of specialists who offer expert domestic violence assessments in the public and private family courts, including cases being worked under the Public Law Outline (PLO).
There are three referral routes into the Family Courts Team, depending on the type of assessment or intervention required:
This page contains information relating to Public Law and Social Services Assessments. For information regarding Private Law cases please contact us.
In Public Law proceedings DVIP can provide the following types of assessments:
Risk Assessments are detailed, court compliant reports which consider the perspectives of both parents. They include:
A victim can be referred for a Vulnerability Assessment independently of their partner. In such a report, the impact of domestic violence on the victim’s parenting is assessed, alongside their vulnerability to future abuse. This assessment includes:
There are two vulnerability reporting options for female clients:
A Vulnerability Assessment is prepared, and the woman may subsequently attend the WSS programme, if recommended to do so by the assessor.
The Vulnerability Assessment takes place alongside the woman’s attendance on the WSS programme. The report is filed once the woman has completed the programme, and therefore also examines her progress therein.
In a Joint Risk and Vulnerability Assessment the risk posed by the perpetrator is assessed alongside the vulnerability of the victim. A risk management plan for both parents is included, including treatment options.
In cases where the Local Authority’s care plan involves placement or potential placement of a child with extended family members or other third parties, the Risk Assessment Team can offer Family Member Assessments.
These reports can be undertaken as stand-alone reports or can be incorporated into single Risk, Vulnerability or Joint Assessments. They include:
An interim report may be ordered at the halfway stage of the DVPP programme, if requested by the local authority and the funding confirmed.
Since attendance alone on a programme (either DVPP or WSS) is not a guarantee of change, DVIP always recommend that a Final (completion) Report should be ordered, in order to:
NB: Interim and Final Risk Assessment reports can only be prepared once a full Risk Assessment has been undertaken.
When an assessment has been requested by the Local Authority and/or Court, all available documentation should be released to DVIP, along with a completed referral form and confirmation of funding. The case will then be allocated to an assessor.
To progress a referral, we require:
The referral should also include, if available:
These documents should then be sent to the Risk Assessment Team electronically or in hard copy.
A stand-alone Risk, Vulnerability or Family Member Assessment will be prepared within 6 weeks and a Joint Assessment within 8 weeks, depending on clients’ attendance and engagement with appointments. Stand-alone assessments which incorporate Family Member Assessments may take up to 8 weeks.
Interim and Final reports can be provided within one month of the client’s final programme session.
Please note that these are estimated timescales and are subject to change when there is a high volume of referrals and/or over public holidays.The final filing date for assessments will be confirmed by the assessor once the case has been allocated.
Services offered by the Family Courts Team for cases in care proceedings or PLO/Pre proceedings
Referral form for Children's Services cases in care proceedings or at PLO/Pre proceedings