Category: News

The Beautiful Game with an Ugly Side

Euro 2024: Exploring Domestic Abuse and Football Culture with Brenda Evans, Therapeutic Lead at The For Baby’s Sake Trust

This blog was written in collaboration with HQN to raise awareness of the relationship between domestic abuse and football, published during the 2024 European Championships. We’re thrilled to be able to share this piece during our Children Keep the Score campaign. Learn more about HQN here, and thank you to HQN for their support.  

In England, football is considered the national sport and globally it is enjoyed by 3.5 billion people. Football’s widespread appeal across all continents can be attributed to passion, a sense of belonging, drama, loyalty, rivalry, a need for social connection, creation of powerful fantasies, all of which transcend cultural and linguistic barriers. But it comes at an increasing cost to the fabric of family life.

What is the relationship between football and domestic abuse?

Many people in relationships with abusive partners live in dread of major football competitions like the World Cup because domestic abuse incidents soar. The early evidence is clear – there is a correlation between domestic abuse and football. Researchers at Lancaster University have observed that the number of domestic abuse reports rose by 26% when the English national team won or drew and increased by 38% when the national team lost. 

Whilst football cannot be blamed for domestic abuse, there is a correlation between behaviour patterns that are present in both situations. The most powerful is the lack of emotional regulation and several studies have indicated that alcohol/substance use negatively impact the heightened state of emotional arousal. When our ability to control our emotional state diminishes due to environmental factors, intense feelings, alcohol/substance use, and peer pressure as experienced by some football fans, this can lead to a loss of control.

This behaviour is not exclusively reserved for international tournaments or the intensified atmosphere of a large stadium. Lack of emotional regulation is often displayed by parents when watching their children play football. This needs to be addressed because it has the potential to influence children’s perception of acceptable behaviour and be transferred to the home environment when not contained.

Moreover, studies have shown a two-way link between alcohol use and aggression. In short, when you drink, you’re more likely to become disinhibited which can include adopting aggressive behaviours. Also, being a victim of aggression can cause excessive alcohol consumption — therefore, some football fans could be viewed as helplessly stuck in a cycle of consumption and response.

In addition to this, trauma and life-changing events in early childhood can cause sensitisation to the central nervous system, disrupting emotional regulation, amongst other symptoms including depression, anxiety and a lack of self-worth and agency that can continue throughout adulthood. This can make it more likely to use abusive behaviours in adulthood. Those at risk of using abusive behaviours must notice what they are feeling, name it, create space to cope, identify and reduce triggers and consider the story they are telling themselves in the moment. Support is needed to be able to achieve this.

What should I do if I’m worried about my own behaviour during football?

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach; domestic abuse is a complex societal issue that impacts many areas of life. Therefore, responses must be multi-layered. But the best place to start is to confide in someone you trust and seek professional support. And, if you’re worried about your behaviour or emotional regulation during football tournaments, try and take some of these steps:

  • Recognise what specific aspects of the game (e.g., referee decisions, team performance, opponent’s behaviour) tend to trigger strong emotional reactions.
  • Be conscious of your emotional state and notice when you start to feel agitated or upset.
  • Where possible, try to address the potential outcomes of drinking, and how this will affect you and your children. Avoid alcohol if this is a trigger for you.
  • Set your expectations. Understand that football is unpredictable. Accept that your team won’t always win, and there will be frustrating moments.
  • Engage in mindfulness exercises before the game to centre yourself. This could include deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Watch the game in a setting that minimizes additional stressors. If watching in a group, ensure it’s with people who promote a positive atmosphere. If watching in public is triggering, stay home instead, and vice versa.
  • If you feel your emotions rising, step away from the screen for a few minutes. Use this time to breathe deeply or do a quick physical activity to release tension.
  • Use distractions. Have a stress ball, fidget toy, or another object to occupy your hands and help diffuse some of the tension.
  • It’s okay to express frustration or disappointment but try to do so without aggression or harmful language. Practice phrases like, “I’m disappointed with that play,” instead of more volatile expressions. You may also find that the use of humour helps you keep a sense of perspective.
  • Discuss your feelings with friends or family members who understand and can offer support. Sometimes verbalising your emotions can reduce their intensity.

If your behaviour during football is beginning to worry you or cause harm to those around you, longer-term strategies may need to be explored. Invest time in developing strategies for stress and anger management, such as regular exercise, hobbies, or professional counselling. If controlling your emotions during football is consistently challenging, consider seeking help from a therapist or counsellor to explore underlying issues and develop effective coping strategies.

By implementing these strategies, you can enjoy football while maintaining a respectful and safe environment for yourself and those around you. Emotional regulation is a skill that can be developed with practice and commitment.

What should I do if I’m worried about my partner’s behaviour during football?

Intense emotions and aggressive behaviours can escalate into domestic abuse. If you’re worried about your partner’s behaviour, and its impact on your family, please keep these steps in mind:

  • Call 999 immediately if you believe you or your children are in danger. Prioritise your immediate safety above all else.
  • Share your concerns with a trusted friend or family member. Establish a ‘safe word’ that signals you need urgent help. Provide this person with a key to your house and prepare a ‘getaway’ bag containing essentials for you and your children.
  • Ensure you know the location of all critical legal documents, such as passports, birth certificates, and financial records. Keep them accessible in case you need to leave quickly.
  • Plan a safe way to leave the house if the situation escalates. Identify a safe place you can go, such as a friend’s house or a shelter.
  • Build a network of supportive people around you. This can include friends, family, neighbours, and support groups who can offer emotional and practical assistance.
  • Reflect on why you want to stay with this person and if you genuinely believe they can change. Consider whether their behaviour is putting you and your children at risk.
  • Contact an Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor (IDVA) for specialized support and guidance. They can help you navigate the situation and access resources.
  • Engage with a therapist to work through your experiences and emotions. Professional support can help you build resilience and plan for a safer future.
  • Take it one day at a time. Focus on immediate safety and well-being. Each step you take towards securing your safety is important. Be patient with yourself and your situation.

If you’re concerned about your partner’s behaviour and the risk of domestic abuse, it’s crucial to prioritise your safety and well-being which will allow you, in turn, to protect any children in the home. Recognise the signs of abusive behaviour, such as extreme anger, verbal threats, or physical aggression, especially during emotionally charged times like football matches. Ensure you have a support system in place, including trusted friends, family, or local support services, and have a safety plan ready. Don’t hesitate to reach out to professional resources guidance and assistance. Remember, you are not alone, and help is available to ensure your safety and support your journey towards a healthier environment.

In summary

Football should be celebrated for its ability to unite people across cultures and create a sense of belonging but its darker side, particularly concerning domestic abuse, cannot be ignored. The intense emotions and aggressive behaviours often associated with football can exacerbate underlying issues of emotional regulation, leading to harmful outcomes within families. This issue extends beyond the stadium and can influence behaviours in everyday situations.

Addressing the relationship between football and domestic abuse requires a multifaceted approach. Individuals concerned about their behaviour or their partner’s must recognise their triggers and develop meaningful, safety-first coping strategies by seeking support from trusted networks and professionals. It’s crucial to have safety plans and support systems in place to protect everyone at risk. Emotional regulation is a skill that can be developed when understood and acknowledged, with commitment and the right support, individuals can enjoy football responsibly and maintain a safe and respectful environment at home.

Ultimately, it is vital to raise awareness of this issue and encourage proactive measures to prevent domestic abuse linked to football culture. By fostering a healthier sporting environment and supporting those affected, we can mitigate the negative impacts on family life and promote positive role models for future generations. Remember, help is available, and taking steps to address these concerns can lead to safer, more supportive relationships and communities.

 

Children Keep the Score

Learn more about our Children Keep the Score campaign, exploring the impact of football-related domestic abuse incidents on families. 

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Press Release: The For Baby’s Sake Trust Receives Support from UBS

The For Baby’s Sake Trust is delighted to announce a major funding boost from UBS and the UBS Optimus Foundation, supporting the Trust’s mission to break cycles of domestic abuse and provide trauma-informed therapeutic care to families across the UK.

Thanks to the outstanding fundraising efforts of UBS’s Global Markets team in the UK, who raised an impressive £34,200, and the generous match funding provided by UBS Social Impact and Philanthropy, The For Baby’s Sake Trust has received a total of £68,400 in funding. 

This substantial contribution will enable the organisation to expand their support services and reach more families in need.

"We are incredibly grateful to UBS and UBS Global Markets colleagues for their generous support. This funding will empower us to continue our vital work and make a lasting impact on the lives of families affected by domestic abuse."

The For Baby’s Sake Trust is dedicated to creating healthier family environments and preventing the long-term impact of domestic abuse on children. With domestic abuse affecting 1 in 5 children in the UK, this funding comes at a crucial time and will make a significant difference in the lives of many families.

“Early childhood education and care is an area we are supporting through the holistic approach of our UBS Optimus Foundation portfolio, enabling children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to flourish from cradle to career. Our partnership with The For Baby’s Sake Trust is supporting some of the most vulnerable children and families to break cycles of abuse and help babies get the best start in life. We are delighted to be able to work in partnership with UBS’s clients, employees and The For Baby’s Sake Trust to support this pioneering and valuable work."

The UBS Optimus Foundation’s UK Education Collective Portfolio, which The For Baby’s Sake Trust is a part of, supports organisations that are working to transform educational outcomes in the UK to help ensure that all children, regardless of their background, can thrive in education and beyond.

This partnership represents a meaningful collaboration in the shared commitment to building happier, healthier families, and builds on the existing partnership between The For Baby’s Sake Trust and the UBS Optimus Foundation.

ABOUT UBS OPTIMUS FOUNDATION

UBS Optimus Foundation is an independent foundation that offers UBS clients a platform to use their wealth to drive positive social and environmental change. The Foundation selects programs that improve children’s health, education, and protection, ones that have the potential to be transformative, scalable, and sustainable as well as programs tackling environmental and climate issues.

Contact us

Together we can empower families to change their lives and give their babies the best start. 

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Are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) the key link between mental health and domestic abuse?  

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) could represent a critical point in understanding the link between domestic abuse and mental health. 

Our Therapeutic Lead, Brenda Evans, outlines that:

“The links between ACEs, mental health and issues of domestic abuse are increasingly evident in all recent research. However, we must remember many people are predisposed genetically to suffer mental health issues, others because of accidents, health problems, environmental factors, bereavement, and prejudice. Therefore, mental health and domestic abuse can occur without experiencing ACEs as they are specifically defined, and experiencing ACEs will not always result in a mental health diagnosis.”

In this blog, shared as part of our Healing Starts Here campaign for Mental Health Awareness Week, we explore the potential connections between ACEs, domestic abuse, and mental health, drawing on extensive evidence and data from The For Baby’s Sake Trust.  

2 in 3

66% of For Baby's Sake parents have a complex mental health need.

69%

Of all For Baby's Sake parents have experienced 6 or more ACEs.

1 in 5

Around 1 in 5 children in the UK experience domestic abuse, often when still in the womb.

What are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) 

“Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs), including childhood abuse and experience of domestic violence, have been shown to contribute to poor outcomes for adults, such as substance misuse problems, PTSD, depression and chronic disease. These ACEs also contribute to children’s poor peer relationships, low academic achievement, risky health behaviours, substance misuse and mental health problems.”
Journal of Family Violence

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are defined as traumatic or stressful experiences that occur in childhood, including physical, sexual, emotional abuse, neglect, exposure to domestic abuse, parental separation, growing up in a household where there are adults with mental health or drug or alcohol problems or who have spent time in prison. These experiences can have enduring consequences on mental and physical well-being throughout life.  

Brenda Evans stresses that:

“ACEs have the potential to impair all life chances and create a destructive pathway that enhances the possibility of their continuation from generation to generation. Traumatic events of the earliest years of infancy and childhood are not lost but, like a child’s footprints in wet cement, are often conserved lifelong. Time does not heal the harm that occurs in those earliest years; time hides it. The harm will not vanish; it will become embodied.  The root of many physical, mental, and emotional conditions can stem from childhood. Experiencing complex trauma, (exposure to multiple traumatic events, often of an invasive, interpersonal nature) will have implications on how life is lived.”

 

What role do Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) play in the cycle of domestic abuse?  

“Evidence indicates that children who are exposed to four or more ACEs in childhood are at increased risk of experiencing physical and mental health problems throughout the lifetime.”
King's College London

Research consistently demonstrates the significant impact of ACEs on continuing cycles of domestic abuse. For individuals who have experienced ACEs, the risk of both experiencing and using domestic abuse in adolescence and adulthood increases substantially. ACEs contribute to the development of maladaptive coping mechanisms, interpersonal difficulties, and mental health challenges that can manifest in adulthood, continuing a cycle of trauma and abuse within relationships.  

Brenda adds:

“Experiencing trauma leaves the reptilian brain, that controls the body’s function of fight-flight-freeze responses in a state of hypervigilance. The reptilian brain needs to feel safe and secure so it, and the rest of the brain can begin to function properly. Only when we experience that feeling of safety deep within our core can our stress response system calm down. Then and only then can the higher areas of the brain – the pre-frontal cortex function optionally or we will be forever stuck in our cycle of self-induced destruction. It takes a trusting, meaningful relationship to promote change in our lives. People need people to feel human and healing requires the presence of empathic, supportive experiences to counteract the earlier faulty core beliefs.”

What is the relationship between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), mental health, and domestic abuse?  

“Evidence indicates that children who are exposed to four or more ACEs in childhood are at increased risk of experiencing physical and mental health problems throughout the lifetime.”
King's College London

The bidirectional relationship between ACEs, mental health, and domestic abuse is well-documented. ACEs not only increase vulnerability to mental health disorders but also elevate the risk of experiencing or using abusive behaviours. This bidirectional relationship underscores the complex interplay between childhood trauma, mental wellness, and patterns of interpersonal abuse.  

What is impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on mental health and domestic abuse?  

“There is substantial evidence that experiencing domestic violence has detrimental impacts on infants, which lead to long-term adverse outcomes. Intervening in the perinatal period may prevent early childhood trauma and its consequences.”
Breaking the cycle of intergenerational abuse: A qualitative interview study of men participating in a perinatal program to reduce violence

Data and evidence from The For Baby’s Sake Trust highlights the profound impact of ACEs on mental health and domestic abuse dynamics. Individuals with a history of ACEs often exhibit higher rates of mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse issues. Moreover, the presence of ACEs significantly increases the likelihood of experiencing or using abusive behaviour. 

Why do we need to consider Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) when thinking about domestic abuse and mental health 

“Strong associations are found between DVA (Domestic Violence and Abuse) victimisation/perpetration and a range of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, substance use, post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders. Mental health problems may arise as a direct result of experiencing DVA. In addition, people with mental health problems are more likely to experience DVA than those without mental health problems. A bi-directional relationship is, therefore, observed whereby DVA may lead to the development of mental health problems and those with mental health problems are more vulnerable to experiencing DVA.”
King’s College London

Efforts to break the cycle of domestic abuse and improve mental health outcomes must prioritise addressing ACEs. Interventions like For Baby’s Sake adopt a whole-family approach that acknowledges and addresses the impact of ACEs on parental mental health, parent-child attachment, and the use of abusive behaviours. By providing trauma-informed care and comprehensive support, initiatives like For Baby’s Sake aim to mitigate the long-term consequences of ACEs on mental wellness and interpersonal relationships.  

What is the relationship between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma? 

“Trauma experts highlight that traumatic childhood histories are associated with diagnoses such as personality disorders in adulthood. This sits alongside reports from For Baby’s Sake practitioners of a high percentage of parents who have experienced four or more adverse childhood experiences, indicating that, as intended, For Baby’s Sake is reaching parents with childhood trauma histories. The nature of this impact points towards the need for interventions that enable emotional self-regulation and take a trauma-informed approach to breaking behaviour patterns.”
Breaking the cycle of intergenerational abuse: A qualitative interview study of men participating in a perinatal program to reduce violence

The relationship between ACEs and trauma lies in how these adverse experiences disrupt normal childhood development and can cause significant stress and harm. Children who experience ACEs may develop maladaptive coping mechanisms, such as avoidance or aggression, to deal with the trauma they face. This can result in a range of emotional and behavioural difficulties during childhood and later in life. 

Moreover, ACEs can contribute to the development of complex trauma, which involves exposure to multiple traumatic events over an extended period. Complex trauma is associated with more severe and chronic symptoms, including difficulties with emotion regulation, interpersonal relationships, self-esteem, and mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and personality disorders. 

Brenda continues:

“Our past traumatic experiences can have a substantial effect on our emotional intelligence or our ability to come across as emotionally intelligent people negatively impacting feelings, processing, thinking, memory formation, attitudes, behaviours, sense of self and personality traits. Trauma impacts many areas of our brain, but there are three areas where trauma leaves a lasting impact:

  • Amygdala – fight, flight or freeze response – this is the area that is the most hyperactive in people who have experienced trauma.
  • Hippocampus – this plays a key role in memory and learning.  During traumatic experiences, our bodies release the stress hormone cortisol, which can affect the hippocampus. This can lead to an inability to form important memories, which can in turn decrease our level of self-awareness.
  • Prefrontal cortex – this area is responsible for regulating our emotions, processing emotions, developing awareness and learning.

Trauma causes acute stress, increasing levels of cortisol which have a detrimental effect on neurons starting in the womb and can therefore be considered as the first seed in the development of intergenerational trauma. Trauma sabotages the ability to process emotions and self-regulate as the hyperactive amygdala results in hyper-vigilance, preoccupation in worrying and disproportionate levels of anxiety.”

Understanding the relationship between ACEs and trauma underscores the importance of early intervention, trauma-informed care, and preventive strategies to mitigate the negative effects of childhood adversity. By addressing ACEs and trauma comprehensively, individuals can receive the support and resources needed to heal, build resilience, and lead healthier lives.

Where does For Baby’s Sake intervene in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?

“Interventions have generally focused on supporting the needs of victims/survivors alone and few also seek to target DVA (Domestic Violence and Abuse), and its associated consequences, in conjunction with perpetrators and children. Even fewer interventions adopt a whole-family approach that seeks to address the mental health problems experienced by parents and protect and support the mental health of the baby and other children in the family... For Baby’s Sake seeks to address the limitations of existing interventions by developing a whole-family approach that addresses the cycles of DVA (including the impact of parents’ own childhood experiences of abuse) and improve mental health and parent-child attachment.”
King's College London

Internal data from the For Baby’s Sake programme, from over 200 surveyed parents, unveils concerning mental health statistics among those experiencing domestic abuse and using abusive behaviours:  

  • 66% of For Baby’s Sake parents have a mental health need. 
  • 69% of all For Baby’s Sake parents have experienced 6 or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), contributing significantly to the cycle of abuse. 
  • 23% of For Baby’s Sake parents engage in alcohol abuse, and 30% in drug abuse. 

By acknowledging the impact of ACEs on individuals’ mental well-being and their propensity to engage in or experience domestic abuse, For Baby’s Sake implements evidence-based interventions that break the cycles of trauma and abuse. Through trauma-informed care, early therapeutic interventions, and a whole-family approach, For Baby’s Sake seeks to mitigate the long-term consequences of ACEs on parental mental health, parent-child attachment, and the use of abusive behaviours. This innovative approach not only fosters healthier family dynamics but also contributes significantly to preventing the intergenerational transmission of trauma, promoting mental wellness, and empowering individuals to build resilient and nurturing relationships. 

ACEs can play role in shaping the link between domestic abuse and mental health. Recognising and addressing ACEs within domestic abuse interventions is paramount to breaking the cycle of abuse, promoting mental wellness, and fostering healthier relationships.  

Healing Starts Here

Support our Mental Health Awareness campaign with Big Give’s Kind2Mind initiative. 

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Press Release: Data from The For Baby’s Sake Trust Highlights Mental Health Crisis in Domestic Abuse

An urgent Call for Cross-Sector Action during Mental Health Awareness Week

Startling data from The For Baby’s Sake Trust, a charity providing trauma-informed, therapeutic support to break the cycles of domestic abuse, underscores the urgent need for mental health-focused domestic abuse interventions.  

This Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May), the Trust issues a call for cross-sector collaboration to address the mental health crisis underpinning domestic abuse with their Healing Starts Here campaign, launched as part of The Big Give’s Kind2Mind fundraising initiative.  

Internal data from the For Baby’s Sake programme, from over 200 surveyed parents, unveils concerning mental health statistics among those experiencing domestic abuse and using abusive behaviours:  

  • 66% of For Baby’s Sake parents have a mental health need. 
  • 69% of all For Baby’s Sake parents have experienced 6 or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), contributing significantly to the cycle of abuse and poor mental health.  
  • 23% of For Baby’s Sake parents engage in alcohol abuse, and 30% in drug abuse. 

The correlation between domestic abuse, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and mental health is deeply intertwined and supported by extensive evidence. Data from The For Baby’s Sake Trust reveals that a significant percentage of parents who experience domestic abuse also report mental health challenges and a history of ACEs. These adverse experiences during childhood, such as physical or emotional abuse, neglect, and exposure to domestic abuse can have lasting effects on mental well-being, often leading to conditions like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adulthood.  

Moreover, the trauma of domestic abuse itself exacerbates these mental health issues, creating a cycle that perpetuates the intergenerational transmission of abuse. Addressing mental health needs and providing trauma-informed care are essential components in breaking this cycle and promoting improved mental health for parents and infants. The Trust is therefore calling for a focus on addressing these underlying mental health issues to break the cycle of abuse. 

CEO Lauren Seager-Smith states: 

“The correlation between domestic abuse and mental ill health must be urgently addressed. We need a cross-sector approach involving healthcare, education, social services, and law enforcement to provide robust mental health support, early intervention, and trauma-informed care.” 

This sentiment is supported by evidence from the King’s College London evaluation of For Baby’s Sake, which highlights the strong associations between domestic abuse and various mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, substance use, PTSD, and eating disorders. The data underscores the bidirectional relationship between domestic abuse and mental illness, emphasising the urgency of comprehensive interventions that prioritise mental wellness alongside addressing domestic abuse. Seager-Smith’s call for a collaborative, multi-faceted approach reflects the complexity of the issue and the need for coordinated efforts across sectors to create meaningful change. 

This Mental Health Awareness Week, The For Baby’s Sake Trust urges individuals, organisations, and policymakers to prioritise mental health by; advocating for increased funding and resources for whole-family interventions, promoting cross-sector collaboration to identify and support individuals at risk of domestic abuse, and championing policies that prioritise mental health and trauma-informed care in domestic abuse programmes.  

The Trusts’ Healing Starts Here campaign runs from 14 – 28 May 2024, as part of The Big Give’s Kind2Mind fundraising initiative. To learn more about the campaign, head here, to donate head here, and watch the campaign video here.  

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Announcement: For Baby’s Sake has been selected for evaluation by Foundations

We are excited to announce that For Baby’s Sake, our groundbreaking programme aiming to break cycles of domestic abuse and give babies the best start in life, has been selected for evaluation by Foundations as part of their REACH strategy to improve outcomes for children experiencing domestic abuse at home.  

Figures from Foundations show that, this year, more children could experience domestic abuse than start primary school in England and Wales. Foundations has launched REACH (Researching Effective Approaches for Children), a 5-year plan to transform domestic abuse services.  

Foundations is funding and evaluating six promising programmes, including For Baby’s Sake, that support children affected by domestic abuse. Read more from the BBC here. These include prevention services, family-based work and therapeutic support. Earlier work from Foundations has shown that working with the whole family shows promise in protecting children. 

"We are thrilled that Foundations has chosen to evaluate For Baby's Sake as part of their efforts to understand effective strategies in preventing domestic abuse and enhancing child outcomes. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to pioneering interventions that transform the lives of families. We have a unique opportunity to contribute our expertise, driving forward evidence-based practices and ultimately fostering safer, healthier family environments."
Lauren Seager-Smith
CEO of The For Baby's Sake Trust
"Parents want support to break cycles of domestic abuse and create safer, brighter futures for their babies and children. We are excited that Foundations is focusing on building evidence on what works. Through partnering with Foundations and our independent evaluator, RAND Europe, we aim to gain insights into the effectiveness of For Baby’s Sake, while playing a pivotal role in the national priority to tackle domestic abuse and nurture resilience, healing and hope.”
Amanda McIntyre
Deputy CEO of The For Baby's Sake Trust

Funding for the For Baby’s Sake evaluations includes funding via the Evaluation Accelerator Fund run by the Evaluation Task Force, a joint Cabinet Office-HM Treasury unit providing specialist support to ensure evidence and evaluation sits at the heart of spending decisions. 

This investment from Foundations and the Evaluation Accelerator Fund is a significant milestone in our shared mission. We are committed to developing the evidence base for what works to prevent and respond to domestic abuse, supporting parents and babies to thrive. 

1 in 5 children experience domestic abuse in their homes in the UK. This award marks a crucial step forward in our shared mission to address domestic abuse and create safer, healthier environments for families and children. 

For further updates on our evaluation with Foundations, please subscribe to our mailing list and keep up to date with our socials.  

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We are delighted to be recruiting two For Baby’s Sake Therapeutic Practitioners (closing 12 October)

We are recruiting two For Baby’s Sake Therapeutic Practitioners to deliver For Baby’s Sake, one in each of the well-established teams working across the Eastern region which includes Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire and the London & Southern team. The post will be home based with some elements of hybrid working.

The position is full-time on a permanent contract. Full details, including the job description, person specification and background briefing information can be found in the relevant attachments. There will be an expectation of occasional travel to Stevenage or London.

For an opportunity to discuss this vacancy informally, please contact either: Judith Rees, Director of Operations, The For Baby’s Sake Trust at judithrees@forbabyssake.org.uk 07718247663 or for the Eastern Region team Brenda Evans, Therapeutic Lead & Team Manager at brendaevans@forbabyssake.org.uk on 07702538068 or for the London & South team at ronniestockton@forbabyssake.org.uk on 07718578438.

For further details and to apply please visit CharityJob

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Marriotts students raise £1000 for The For Baby’s Sake Trust with First Give

First Give are a National Charity that works with supporters and partner schools to inspire young people to make a positive change in society. Together, they have empowered over 160,000 young people to make a difference to thousands of charities across England and Wales.

Marriots School in Stevenage recently held a First Give competition for the children to present their understanding of a chosen charity. Class 8A , Brianna, Gabriella, Lerya, Jamie & Maria under the leadership of their teacher Alice Sweeney chose For Baby’s Sake as their charity to represent.

The children met with Steve Gibbs, For Baby’s Sake Senior Practitioner and created their own presentation for the final in front of five independent judges. Prior to this they had researched the charity , held an event in school which raised over £30 and gave an amazing verbal and PowerPoint presentation to the judges. So much so they won first prize and £1000 for the For Baby’s Sake programme.

Steve from For Baby’s Sake visited the children after the event and congratulated them on their success and thanked them for the grateful donation of the £1000.

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Welcoming Lauren Seager-Smith as CEO of The For Baby’s Sake Trust

We are delighted to welcome Lauren Seager-Smith as our new CEO.  Lauren was previously Chief Executive at Kidscape, the charity that provides help with bullying.  She joined The For Baby’s Sake Trust on 9 May.  Lauren has a great range of skills and experience and a trauma-informed, whole-family ethos.  

Lauren Seager-Smith said:

“I am delighted to be taking up the role of CEO of The For Baby’s Sake Trust.  I’ve worked with children and families for over twenty years, and there is nothing more important than the relationships we have with others – whether at home, school, or in the wider community.

As a parent myself, I understand how our history and our stories impact how we care and relate to others, and we all need support on the journey. It will be a privilege to lead a team providing innovative, trauma-informed support to families.  The services that The For Baby’s Sake Trust provides have the potential not only to transform the lives of the babies and families directly supported, but generations to follow. “

Dame Lin Homer, Chair of Trustees, said

“We are looking forward to welcoming Lauren Seager-Smith as CEO of The For Baby’s Sake Trust.  Lauren is a highly respected charity leader, bringing skills and experience for the next phase of our journey, including income generation and organisational growth, along with passionate commitment and transferrable experience of improving lives for children and families.

Dame Lin added,

“The appointment of Lauren Seager-Smith as CEO also enables Amanda McIntyre to move into a vital new role as Deputy CEO, focused on the next phase of building and sharing our evidence about what works, to support the expansion of For Baby’s Sake and influence wider practice, policy and systems.”

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Update on our work towards a common outcomes approach for all children

The Trust’s partnership work, including our joint report with Kindred Squared sits at the core of the Children’s Commissioner’s report on establishing a common outcomes set, as part of her recommendations in the Family Review, published in December 2022 – ‘Outcomes Framework: Annex to a positive approach to parenting: Part 2 of the Independent Family ReviewHERE.

The CCo strengthened the work by bringing in the voice of children, young people and families gathered through The Big Ask in 2021 and the family review consultation in summer 2022, leading to the addition of a fifth high-level outcome (‘All children feel engaged in a community’).  Thanks to support from Kindred Squared, we’ve recently created a new circular graphic and updated the original high-level illustration of what a national outcomes framework might look like by including the fifth outcome (both attached).  We’re now working to create a graphic to help map out existing and planned projects and programmes, at national and more local levels, towards the common outcomes approach, alongside more technical processes and tools that would enable the work.

We’re continuing to work with the CCo team and lots of others to support implementation of the recommendations made in the outcomes annex, making the case for coordination and collaboration at national, strategic level including through the consultations on Stable Homes, Built on Love and Children’s Social Care National Framework and across wider (and linked) policy developments for children, families and communities.

At a more local level, we’re working with Essex County Council and their partners (as a Family Hubs exemplar) to explore how the common outcome approach could work at strategic policy and commissioning level, making links between the Integrated Care System, Supporting Families, Family Hubs, Start for Life, Levelling Up etc. and, at locality level, focusing on how the voice of children and families can be embedded at all levels and working to articulate the difference that a more consistent approach can make to their lives.  Plans and progress in Essex are being shared with the National Centre for Family Hubs and other local authorities, some of whom are using the common outcomes as a framework as they explore and agree the focus of their family hubs offer and how success will be defined and judged.

Thanks to support from The KPMG Foundation and Kindred Squared, we’re working with the Data for Children Collaborative to plan a one-day workshop session in September 2023 to be held in-person in London.  We’re aiming to bring together original and new partners and stakeholders in this work to help us define next steps and challenges in the further development of the common outcomes approach.  The primary outcome of the workshop will be a clear and agreed understanding of what success would look like and a delivery roadmap with identified challenge owners and defined next steps.  This will feed into one or more specific plans and business cases for the financial and other support we need to take the work forward. 

Please do get in touch by emailing elainefulton@forbabyssake.org.uk if you’re interested in being involved in our continuing collaborative work to drive system change for children and families through the establishment of common outcomes.

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