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Celebrating 4 Years of Ar Trac Services

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As our Ar Trac services embark on their fifth year, the team has crafted a captivating video to commemorate the success of these services throughout Wales over the past four years. 

What is Ar Trac? 

Ar Trac supports children and young people aged 5-16, who have experienced or witnessed domestic abuse and who are exhibiting difficulties with their family and peer relationships. 

Difficulties can be wide ranging and pervasive; by addressing them and building upon strengths within childhood, Ar Trac aims to minimise the impact of the adverse childhood experiences associated with domestic abuse and improve life-long well-being. 

The project brings together a range of interventions, co-produced by Ar Trac staff and children and young people: 

  • Mentoring 
  • One to one support work 
  • Gender based group work programme 
  • Child to parent bond group work programme 
  • Child to parent violence support 

Ar Trac’s suite of age-appropriate services can be tailored based on the individual needs and strengths of the child and their family.  

Ar Trac is seamlessly delivered across ten counties through collaboration with five regional project partners, thanks to the invaluable support from the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Social Services funding. Without such crucial financial backing, delivering these essential services would not be possible. 

 

Milestones and Achievements  

We have engaged with over 3,783 children and young people and held 271 group programmes for both children and their parent/carers across Wales over the past four years. 

It’s truly inspiring to witness the insightful feedback from the children and young people who have engaged with this project, expressing their thoughts and emotions. The following statistics represent the average percentages gathered over the last four years: 

  • 90% know and understand what support is available to them 
  • 89% feel they received the right support when they needed it 
  • 83% feel that they are in control of their lives  
  • 83% who report high or very high levels of happiness  
  • 91% feel safer 
  • 90% report being able to do the things that matter to them  
  • 87% feel that they belong to their local area  
  • 85% feel that they have safe and healthy relationship with those around them  

With the support and co-production of children and young people, the following have been developed through the Ar Trac project:  

  • A children and young people well-being journal 
  • A young person/adults well-being journal
  • A children and young people support workers toolkit (that aids the work of the support worker when completing one to one sessions) 
  • A support worker session planner (that helps the support worker organise their notes more effectively before and after the session) 
  • Two training programmes that we can deliver to social services and other support agencies throughout Wales (sibling violence and abuse and understanding difficult experiences) 
  • A gender-specific group work programme that was created and developed at the start of the project, to support children and young people to develop confidence, self-esteem, teamwork skills and communication skills, and allow them to be a part of their community. 
  • A child to parent bond group work programme that was created and developed at the start of the project, to allow children and their parent to be a part of a programme that will strengthen and support their bond and work on their attachments together after experiencing or witnessing domestic abuse. 

The project also offers opportunities for children and young people to be a part of a focus/consultation group in each area and this allows them the opportunity to express their thoughts and opinions on what we deliver and how we deliver it. The voices of the children are at the heart of this project, and they have input into our outcome measurement forms, our paperwork and assessment forms. The focus group participants also help support us with recruitment, both asking and writing the questions (of both staff and mentors) and the design and development of training programmes and leaflets for the project. 

Feedback from our project partners: 

Suzanne from Cyfannol Women’s Aid: 

As the Children and Young People’s Manager for Cyfannol Women’s Aid, I have managed the Ar Trac team since it started in April 2020.  In Gwent, the Ar Trac team delivers services in the Newport and Blaenau Gwent areas. Since April 2020 we have worked with 906 children and young people and have delivered 128 groups. The Ar Trac service has provided support to children and young people that have experienced difficulties in various parts of their life due to the affects of domestic abuse. Feedback from the children and young people and their parents and caregivers has been extremely complimentary and the interventions have been proven to improve outcomes for the children and young people involved. 

Poppy from Cardiff Women’s Aid: 

The Ar Trac project has benefitted Cardiff Women’s Aid as it has allowed us to provide client centred support for the children as we are able to adapt the support offered to meet their needs. The project fills a gap in support available to children and their families. In particular, the Break4Change and Child to Parent Bond programmes encourage the re-building of the relationship with the caregiver as part of after-care and recovery. The group work has allowed us to provide support to a wider range of children and allowed the children to meet others who have had similar experiences. The project recognises that children are victims of domestic abuse in their own right and teaches them valuable skills such as safety planning, regulating emotions and building confidence as part of their recovery. Ar Trac empowers the children and encourages them to use their voice to advocate for themselves. 

 

Katie from Gorwel: 

The Ar Trac programme has brought so many opportunities to children and young people affected by domestic abuse in Gwynedd and Ynys Mon. It has provided funding for three crucial support workers to provide 1-1 support to children, as well as introducing worthwhile group work projects which improve the relationships between children and their parents. 

 

Jackie from West Wales Domestic Abuse Service: 

Ar Trac has given children and young people across Ceredigion the opportunity to try new experiences that wouldn’t normally be available to them, like animal therapy and theme park experiences. 

It has enabled them to explore different options for support that is led by them and is tailored to help them move forward from any trauma they have experienced. The programme has helped build confidence, self-esteem and provided preventative support around healthy relationship and how to deal with age-appropriate issues that our young people face. The project has meant that we have supported young people to build relationships with peers and adults; we have supported them with social skills and building stronger relationship within their own communities, so that they feel a part of that community.

Katie from Calan Domestic Violence Services: 

The Ar Trac Project at Calan DVS has made a real difference to the lives of children and young people in the Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend area. Through one-to-one support, we aid them in understanding and processing what they have witnessed or experienced. The children and young people are given an opportunity to discuss their feelings and emotions with a trusted adult without any judgement. Our groups have allowed young people to meet new friends with shared experiences and let them know they are not alone in what they have been through. Trips to various activities have allowed the children to have experiences they may not have experienced before. The Ar Trac project has allowed us to have a positive impact on their lives. 

Young person feedback “I am really happy you supported me because it really helped me. I know how to deal with the things that happened now”

Ar Trac Services

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