As the title suggests, officers have recommended to Bridgend Council’s Cabinet that they authorise bringing domestic abuse support services in-house (pdf).
Presently, domestic abuse support services – which includes women’s refuge services, supported housing, drop-in services, specialist children’s services and community-based support – are contracted out to the charity Calan DVS via their Assia Suite service based at the civic offices. That contract ends in April 2021.
A review of domestic abuse services was undertaken during 2019-20. There was deemed to be room for improvement in confidentiality, possible duplication of work between different teams and inconsistencies in training and communication.
The report says that bringing the service in-house could lead to less duplication, flexibility in how support is offered (i.e. more help in local settings instead of a centralised office) and more efficient use of qualified staff.
All staff currently employed at the Assia Suite will be offered the chance to move across to the new service, which is expected to employ 10 full-time staff. In total, the new service is expected to cost just under £330,000, saving around £41,000 on current costs.
If the Cabinet approves, the new service would be up and running from 1st May 2021.