Operation Encompass is a police and education early information sharing partnership enabling schools to offer immediate support for children and young people experiencing domestic abuse. Information is shared by the police with a school's trained Key Adult (DSL) prior to the start of the next school day after officers have attended a domestic abuse incident thus enabling appropriate support to be given, dependent upon the needs and wishes of the child.
Children experiencing domestic abuse are negatively impacted by this exposure; domestic abuse has been identified as an Adverse Childhood Experience and can lead to emotional, physical and psychological harm. Operation Encompass aims to mitigate this harm by enabling immediate support, making a child's day better and giving them a better tomorrow.
Operation Encompass believes that children are victims of domestic abuse in their own right and should be acknowledged as such.
Our ambition is to ensure that all incidents of domestic abuse are shared with schools, not just those where an offence can be identified. Our mission is for Operation Encompass to be adopted by every police force and every school, for the benefit of every child.
The principles of Operation Encompass are very simple and easy to adopt. Within every school a trained Key Adult is appointed – the Key Adult receives information about abusive incidents directly from the police. The Key Adult will be notified prior to the start of the next school day that the police have attended an incident of domestic abuse to which a child has been exposed. This timely knowledge enables a plan for appropriate support to be made for that child so that all interactions, from when the child first arrives at the school gates, are of a positive nature.
The Key Adult must be a trained Designated or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and should attend a mandatory police and education led Operation Encompass briefing. They are then able to cascade this training to their school Governors and all staff, creating an awareness throughout their school of Operation Encompass, how it mitigates the effects of domestic abuse, and its broader consequent benefits. They can also communicate the school's Operation Encompass participation to the broader school community and stakeholders, for example by placing information on the school's website, in its prospectus, and by sending the joint police/school letter to parents.
Operation Encompass is an integral component in child safeguarding and protection policies and, as such, should be cited in the school's Safeguarding and Child Protection policies. Participation in Operation Encompass mandates a secure record-keeping trail, which may be electronic or paper based.
Within Operation Encompass all records are managed at Child Protection level with the highest level of security and confidentiality, and in full accordance with GDPR.