Evaluation of the Lancashire Safer Together Transition Project

Barter, Christine Anne orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5682-5333, Bracewell, Kelly orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4635-7489, Robbins, Rachel orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6207-7703 and Cankardas, Sinem (2019) Evaluation of the Lancashire Safer Together Transition Project. Project Report. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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The transition project sought to support survivors of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) and their children in the transfer from one service provider to another in Lancashire.
The Safer Together consortium was set up in 2014 consisting of 11 local DVA specialist organisations that had previously operated independently. These providers were encouraged by the local authority to form a consortium following a move to commissioned services leading to the formation of Safer Together1. Following the first 2014 tender process, Lancashire County Council awarded a three-year contract to two main providers: Let Go in North Lancashire and Safer Together in East and Central Lancashire. The outcome was not without controversy2.
Services were then put out to tender again in 2016. Safer Together provided DVA services for adult victims and an early support service for children and young people3 until 2017 when the new tender was awarded elsewhere (see appendix 1). Subsequently, at least three domestic DVA charities have closed, including one that had delivered services for almost 20 years (Cooney, 2017)4. Consequently, there is generally an absence of funding and capacity to support service users to transition from one provider to another.
The Safer Together consortium was understandably disappointed at this outcome – many partners in the consortium had a long history of providing DVA services in Lancashire and not all of their staff were able to benefit from Transfer of Understanding (TUPE) opportunities. However, led by HARV5, members of the Safer Together consortium were pleased to be granted funding by Comic Relief in 2017 for six months to support and assist adult survivors and their children in the transition to the newly commissioned Service. Researchers from the Connect Centre based at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) were commissioned to undertake the evaluation of this transition.

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