An innovative multi-agency initiative which helps children, young people and mothers in the Borders who are experiencing difficulties through domestic abuse, is now accepting referrals.
Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse Recovery (CEDAR) is a is a group model inspired by, and adapted from, an innovative Canadian model for children who have experienced domestic abuse.
It provides a therapeutic psycho-educational programme that takes place over 12 weeks, with groups for children and young people (aged 4-16) and their mothers running in parallel.
These provide an opportunity to explore the experiences, understanding and feelings associated with domestic abuse, with an emphasis on providing fun and creative activities that keep children engaged and interacting with each other, creating a safe place for children and their mothers to help each other to find the best strategies to deal with their experiences and rebuild their lives.
This includes helping mothers to support their children in their recovery.
Councillor Tom Weatherston, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for adult social care, said: “The impact of domestic abuse is unimaginably profound and life-changing, and no less so when it affects the youngest members of our community.
“A programme like CEDAR is a vitally important way of providing them with the support that they need to try and make sense of what has happened to them and find a way to move forward with their lives.
“The way in which support is also provided for their mothers is an integral and powerful part of the programme and provides a tangible way for the impact on the whole family to be explored.
“Feedback received from families who have previously gone through the programme has been extremely positive with many reporting significant benefits from taking part and I would encourage anyone who also feels they could benefit to get in touch and find out more.”
Groups take place twice a year, with the first session due to start in February. Another one will begin in September.
People can refer themselves directly, but referrals are also received from schools, health workers, social workers or support agencies such as Children 1st or the Domestic Abuse Advocacy Support Service.
For more information, contact the CEDAR co-ordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01835 824000 ext. 5494.