Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit

In 2016, a group of mothers who had started their journey of recovery from domestic abuse and violence, expressed that they wanted similar help and support for their children but could not find anything suitable. From this request, the Healing Together program was born.

The Healing Together program is powered by Innovating Minds, a multi award-winning social enterprise that is breaking barriers to offer a world where people with emotional and mental health needs are supported to achieve their aspirations.

The Healing Together program was developed to support children and young people who have lived with domestic abuse and violence. The program uses a combination of psychological models to help children to learn about how their body and brain work together when they are feeling safe and unsafe. The children will learn discreet strategies that they can use to feel safe and calm.

The program is based on six sessions, each delivered over 60 minutes, and is suitable for children aged 6 to 16 years. The program can be delivered in a group or one to one and within different settings (schools, community services, online etc.). A primary (6-11 years) and secondary (11-16 years) version of the program ensure language and activities are age appropriate.

Watch this short video to learn more about the program.

Sadly, demand for the program increased over the years, and Innovating Minds could not meet the demand for the service alone. The Healing Together facilitator program was developed to enable investment in people that are working therapeutically with children, to ensure as many children as possible can access the trauma informed program.

The facilitators training program includes robust support, training and access to all resources required to successfully deliver the Healing Together program.

Since August 2020, over 300 people have been trained to deliver the program nationally. Impact data shows an increase in confidence and knowledge in trauma informed approaches, with 93% of participants saying they adopt trauma informed approaches in other areas of their work, and 65% reporting an increase in children’s overall emotional awareness score.

Supported by the VRU, 26 licences have now been purchased for teachers and early help workers across three Greater Manchester boroughs. In addition, the VRU will continue to work in unison with existing domestic violence support services in each borough to be able to provide timely trauma informed support for children in primary and secondary education at the point of need.

Our hope is that the 26 licensed practitioners will work alongside existing support services as part of the team around the school model and in doing so target early support interventions to children at the point of need.

Article posted on: 30/09/2021 09:09am

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