What is Operation ENCOMPASS?
Operation Encompass is a National Operation that directly connects the police with schools and early years settings to secure better outcomes for children who are subject or witness to police-attended incidents of domestic abuse. Provision of support within the school/early years environment means children are better safeguarded against the short-, medium- and long-term effects of domestic abuse.
Operation Encompass was initially set up as a charitable organisation in 2011. Since inception it has facilitated effective interventions to many thousands of children who've experienced domestic abuse.
Operation Encompass is a police and education early information sharing partnership enabling schools and early years settings to offer immediate support to children and young people experiencing domestic abuse. Information is shared by the police with the school/setting's trained Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) via Email on the morning 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.
The Email will only inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead that the Police have attended an incident and will request that the school is mindful of that in their care and responses to the child throughout the school day. The school will not be informed about the specific details of the incident. The only exception would be when Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire police deem the incident to be a child protection matter that requires further investigation. Information would then be shared with the school as part of Warwickshire County Council’s child protection checks and investigation, which is current practice and will not be changed by Operation Encompass.
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 facilitating 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.
What Operation Encompass does
Operation Encompass provides an efficient, confidential channel of communication between police forces and Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) within schools and early years settings. This enables the immediate and discrete recognition of the child's situation by the DSL, ensuring the provision of a secure, supportive and emotionally connected environment by the school/setting so that the wider effects of abuse are ameliorated.
Encompass ensures that all incidents of domestic abuse are shared with schools and early years settings, not just those where an offence can be identified.
Operation Encompass is an integral component in child safeguarding and protection policies and, as such, should also be cited in the school's safeguarding policy. Participation in Operation Encompass mandates a secure record-keeping trail, which may be electronic or paper based.
Within Operation Encompass all records should be managed and stored with the same highest level of confidentiality and security as other safeguarding and child protection records and in full accordance with GDPR, i.e. they should be stored in the child’s separate safeguarding file.
Operation Encompass - how the police participate
Operation Encompass provides a set of simple and effective procedures which together enable Warwickshire police to communicate efficiently and effectively with the schools attended by children who have been exposed to domestic abuse or other forms of adverse childhood experience. Early intervention and the provision of appropriate support in these events has a significant positive effect on affected children. It helps minimise the long-term effects and promotes positive outcomes for the child, the wider family and the community at large. Operation Encompass provides a proven and easily understood framework in which these incidents can be consistently and appropriately addressed and recorded.
The force briefs every school's Designated Safeguarding Leads. Operation Encompass provides the appropriate teaching materials. These briefings ensure that the highly confidential information the police supply to the DSL is treated with appropriate care and sensitivity, in situations which are frequently rapidly evolving.
The force maintains up-to-date contact details for all DSLs trained in Operation Encompass procedures.
All frontline officers within the force are fully trained in Operation Encompass - its purpose, when to apply it and how to apply it correctly.
If there is a true intention to help children exposed to domestic abuse then Operation Encompass is a proven approach to ensure the protection of our children.
DS 423 Rhys Bower
Strategic Vulnerability & Safeguarding
Operation Encompass lead.