Mens Service User Information Handbook
Are you a man who has experienced domestic violence and abuse?
How Behind Closed Doors works
Behind Closed Doors (BCD) supports men whose lives are, or have been, affected by domestic violence and abuse in all communities and areas of Leeds. We are here to support people of all race and ethnic groups, of all ages and regardless of their sexuality, religious beliefs, disabilities, skills or competencies. We aim to provide support services which best suit each person’s own needs and circumstances. We will try to meet everyone’s individual needs and, where necessary, and with consent, get help from other agencies who may have other resources or expertise to make this happen. Our practitioners are fully trained to the same high standards in helping people who are or who have experienced domestic violence and abuse and who require crisis, practical or emotional support to cope, recover and move on positively.
We have two teams supporting men at Behind Closed Doors: The Community Domestic Violence Team (Part of Leeds Domestic Violence Service) and The Prevention and Recovery Service.
We have both male and female practitioners so you can choose who you would prefer to be supported by.
Community Domestic Violence Team
Our Community DV Practitioners work with medium to high-risk cases and will provide regular practical and emotional support on housing, benefits and budgeting, safety planning, health and social care and community engagement. In addition, we can accompany people to solicitor’s appointments and support them in attending the Family Courts. We can support them with advocacy work with the police, and accompaniment to criminal proceedings. We can liaise with agencies on their behalf to ensure that they receive specialist support in areas such as drug and alcohol dependency, mental health and children’s education and wellbeing.
Prevention and Recovery Service
Our Pars Workers offer emotional support to help you understand your experience of domestic abuse, the impact it has had, and to recover from it, whether that be recent or historic abuse. We aim to personalise your support and offer structured 1:1 sessions to help you explore the feelings you are having, come to terms with what you have experienced and rebuild your confidence and self-esteem in a safe way.
Behind Closed Doors will:
- Treat you with respect and understanding.
- Treat all of your information in utmost confidence. We will only share information about your situation with your knowledge and consent, except where we are required, by law, to safeguard you and protect your children.
- We will support and help you to make your own positive choices and decisions about how you want to move forward.
- We will work with you via telephone, video call, in your own home, if safe to do so, or at safe locations across Leeds District. We aim to find somewhere that is convenient and suitable for you.
- Make available any relevant professional certificates on request.
You Have the Right to Live Free from Fear and Harm
To make a referral into the Community Domestic Violence Team, please contact Leeds Domestic Violence Service 24 hour Helpline on 0113 246 0401. The line is open for initial support at any time.
To make a referral to the Prevention and Recovery Service you can ring the Helpline on 0113 246 4562 or visit the BCD Website and fill in an online referral enquiry and a worker will make contact with you.
For a more informal chat, you can make a call to the Behind Closed Doors male support line and speak to one of our practitioners on 0113 222 4203
The Support We Give
A comprehensive risk assessment will be carried out before direct support begins. This is to ensure not only your safety, but also worker safety.
When we start working with you a support plan will be drawn up between you and your support worker. In keeping with our policy on confidentiality, it is necessary for us to obtain your permission before sharing information about you with other organisations. Information will only be shared on a need to know basis to ensure your case progresses effectively. In certain circumstances it may be necessary for us to share information even when you do not give permission. These circumstances are: if we believe that with-holding information may place yourself or workers at risk; if we are concerned that your child/children are at risk of harm; if we are concerned that you are a vulnerable adult at risk of harm; or if we are required to by law or a court order. The decision to breach confidentiality would be referred to a Manager and every effort would be made to notify you of the decision before action is taken.
The support plan will identify those issues you need support with, or you would like to explore. It can be changed and reviewed as the work together progresses. When all your needs have been met or you wish to bring the support to a close, an end of support form is completed. This is followed with a phone call a few weeks after support has finished, to obtain your service user feedback. It is important to us to obtain your views on how you feel about the level of support given, whether your concerns have been addressed and whether you have felt empowered throughout the support process. It will also ask you for suggestions on how to improve our future service delivery, and include an invite to join our future men’s service user focus groups.
We greatly value your comments and thoughts and this feeds into the future development of the men’s services.
Behind Closed Doors is committed to maintaining the highest standards of confidentiality in all of its work in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of you, the public and our staff. Breaches of confidentiality may have life threatening consequences and may therefore be the subject of disciplinary action.
Behind Closed Doors is also committed to safeguarding your rights to access information which is held about you. We will discuss our confidentiality statement with you directly.
In fulfilling both of these aims, will work within the requirements of the following legislation:
- The Data Protection Act 1998
- The Human Rights Act 1998
- The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
Information Kept and Access to This
Because of the nature of the work we do, we have to keep records of the work we have undertaken on your behalf and what information you give to us. We only keep a record of factual information we may need when advocating on your behalf and working on your case. These are confidential and are not shown to anyone. All records are stored electronically on our secured databases.
If at any time you wish to see the information in your file, you can, but you can only see the information you have given us or we have passed onto you. There may be things in the file that under Data Protection we have to remove before you read your file.
If you do wish to see your file, you can do this by speaking to your support worker who can guide you through this process.
Code of Conduct
All members of BCD have a responsibility to provide safe, effective and caring services to the men using our service. Whilst it is recognised that workers/volunteers must establish a rapport with service users and provide friendly and accessible services, they are also responsible for establishing and maintaining appropriate boundaries between themselves and the service user. Workers/volunteers must ensure that working relationships are not misread or confused with friendship or other personal relationships. This is essential in order to protect a service user at a time when they may be vulnerable. It is also to protect workers from any risk of potential false allegations. Unacceptable practices are those which put the professional/personal relationship in danger of crossing the support ‘boundary’. These boundaries include, but are not restricted to:
- Breach of confidentiality, except in circumstances stated above
- Acceptance of gifts and hospitality
- Inappropriate personal disclosure
- Providing substances to service users which are not prescribed
- Misuse of money/property
- Misuse of service user’s facilities and property
- Creating a dependence – workers/volunteers have a responsibility to discourage over reliance of the service user on themselves and to encourage and enable the service user towards independence.
The full Code of Conduct and Professional Boundaries policies are available upon request.
- BCD ensures that our service is accessible to all sections of the community we work in.
- BCD will make public its commitment to combating discriminatory attitudes where these are encountered.
- BCD will ensure that none of its policies discriminate directly or indirectly against any group or individual.
- BCD has a Complaints Procedure that will include its objectives with regard to equality and diversity in service delivery.
- BCD will attempt to find ways of making our service accessible to everyone, including men for whom
- English is not a first language, men with visual or hearing impairments, and men who live in remote rural areas and/or who cannot easily travel.
- BCD will take all reasonable steps to support men with mobility difficulties in accessing our services.
BCD will be sensitive to the particular needs of men by providing:
- A trauma informed approach to the needs of men
- A choice of female or male support worker
- Access to translators where appropriate
- When providing food, having regard to religious and other dietary requirements.
Compliments and Complaints
Behind Closed Doors is committed to providing the best possible service to both individuals and professionals in the agencies that we work with. We have a compliments and complaints policy and a detailed compliments and complaints procedure. These policies are available upon request. If you wish to use either of these options, please visit our website where you will be able to access both of these documents. Contact us