Children who have previously experienced or are living with domestic abuse can be negatively affected in every aspect of their functioning resulting in low self-esteem, poor physical and mental health, disrupted school attendance/achievement and hampered emotional development. Children also can feel very unsafe in their own homes and in extreme cases children are at serious risk of serious harm. Turnaround is a 6-week group work programme addressing issues faced by children aged 7-11 who have experienced fear and distress caused by domestic abuse in their home.

Aims and objectives of Turnaround

• Identify personal resource/support networks
• Develop social competence/positive relationships
• Familiarisation with feelings
• Share experiences in a safe place
• Establish safety plan and reduce personal risks
• Increase self-esteem and confidence
• Reduce self-blame
• Develop belief in self-efficacy
• Improve coping strategies


• Children will have an improved understanding of people and situations that make them feel safe
• Children will increase their understanding of what a healthy relationship is
• Children will gain improved understanding of how to manage their anger

Sessions include:

• Keeping Safe
• Talking about abuse
• Recognising different feelings and responses
• Understanding anger and how to express it safely
• Understanding different relationships

Feedback from children on Turnaround:

‘I felt confident to stand-up and say how I feel’
‘I find I can do a lot more things like feeling more confident
‘Managing anger better’
‘Would have liked the group to be longer’
‘Don’t get into fights now’
‘How to think of a different point of view’
‘To get things out in the open and have help about it’
‘Sharing stories’
‘I felt confident to stand-up and say how I feel’
‘I find I can do a lot more things like feeling more confident’

Feedback from parents of children on Turnaround:

‘Feels relationship with child has greatly improved since the group’
‘He is much more confident and has joined other groups (Cubs)’
SB ‘has accepted his past and knows it was not his fault’
NE ‘is realising that his mum is safe and he doesn’t need to worry anymore’
TF ‘fear towards father has reduced’
EB ‘opened up and talked about past and abuse to her’
GC ‘is talking about past and accepting he is not to blame for DV’

Turnaround has been written by The Hampton Trust lead specialists in domestic abuse. It has supported over 600 children. Turnaround was successfully delivered in North Hampshire and Isle of Wight from April 2004 – March 2012 providing group support to children who were living with or had previously experienced domestic abuse. An evaluation of the pilot project April 2004-March 2005 found that 55 children benefited from a 49% reduction in harm-evidenced through pre/post questionnaires/focus groups.

Turnaround has flexibility to provide a 6 week group work programme to the non abusing parent aimed at providing advice, information and support regarding the impact of their situation on their child.

Turnaround can be delivered in the community and take individual referrals, however in our experience individual referrals is more resource intensive and relies on parents to deliver and pick up children from group.

The most successful model includes Hampton Trust staff aligning themselves with a school and delivering Turnaround to a targeted group of children. This approach can successfully deliver a minimum of one Turnaround group per half term or more if required.

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