Bridges

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Overview

Bridges is the domestic abuse service within Tameside commissioned by TMBC. Jigsaw has run the service since October 2013 and the contract has recently been extended.

Jigsaw Support offers a specialist domestic abuse service called Bridges, which provides an outreach service for all and refuge provision for women and their children who are at risk.  In addition, they provide dispersed properties for occasions when the refuge is not appropriate/accessible.

The Bridges team has a range of specialist workers; these include key workers and Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs). IDVAs address the safety of victims at high risk of harm from partners, ex-partners or family members to secure their safety and the safety of their children.

IDVAs work with their client from the point of crisis and serve as a victim’s primary point of contact. After they have assessed the level of risk, they discuss the range of suitable options and develop the appropriate safety plans.

Safety plans are tailored to the client’s needs; they include actions such as emergency accommodation, civil/legal protection, signposting to other agencies and court support.

A key worker’s role is very similar to that of an IDVA, however, they work on cases where clients are considered either at standard or medium risk.

Support work is completed on a one-to-one basis, with some planned sessions around domestic abuse. Specialist workers also attend the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) daily, working alongside PCSOs to complete a triage of standard risk Public Protection Incidents (PPIs) in Tameside.

Children’s social care has committed funding for two Children’s IDVAs to support children who have/are being affected by domestic abuse within the family home.

Bridges also offer a wide range of specialist courses. These have been developed to increase awareness, help people to identify abuse, learn about appropriate relationships and improve self-esteem.

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