An important part of the assessment is being involved in the groups that the centre runs. The group process enables information to be imparted, assessment to be made of parents’ capacity to understand and process this information, an assessment of the parent’s responses around different issues. The issues raised in these groups are all pertinent to the process that the families find themselves in. The group dynamic offers an additional assessment tool in addition to individual work.
Women’s Domestic Violence Group: A women only group which is a mandatory part of the assessment and it uses group intervention to assess the service users capacity to develop a knowledge and awareness of the issues of DV; to make a meaningful contribution to the group in terms of their own experiences and how DV may have impacted on them, their children, other family members etc. The majority of families in the Centre have been effected by Domestic Violence in their family in some way either from their partners and or through their own parents/caregivers’ difficulties. This group looks at raising self esteem, the impact of domestic violence on children and adult victims and is a ‘safe space’ for families to talk about their experiences and feelings. Women from both centres are brought together for this group.
1:1 sessions are also offered on this area of work to provide a confidential setting to develop themes shared by services users in a confidential setting. This group is run by Residential Karen Gravesande-Hill.
Men’s Group: Jamma Umoja also runs a men’s group on a weekly basis which is mandatory. The group looks at a wide range of issues including looking at the role of men in society, being a father, domestic violence from victim and perpetrators perspective, relationships and any particular issues that the residents might feel are pertinent. This group is run by Residential Director Hugh Hill.
Positive Parenting Group: This is run by a trained facilitator and offers a programme of work to parents to explore their child’s needs and how to appropriately meet them. It offers a safe space for parents to talk about their own experience of being parented, it offers tools and tips for parents in terms of improving parenting practices eg setting boundaries, establishing routines, how to meet children’s emotional needs. It helps to develop empathy and support parents to see the world through their child’s eyes. Again this group is part of the assessment process and is run on a weekly basis. Separate groups are run on each site.
Awareness Group: This group seeks to engage parents in debate around a range of important every day issues and to assess their existing knowledge and ability to understand information and process it and respond appropriately. Topics covered are wide ranging and include: sexual health; child health and development; benefits; housing; hygiene; etc