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Project information

Children's Worker in Refuge

When a woman fleeing domestic abuse arrives at one of our refuges, she will often bring young children with her. Provision of individual and therapeutic support for each child during their refuge stay is vital.

January 2012 - December 2013

Charity information: yourSanctuary

yourSanctuary logo
  • Need


    The experience of witnessing domestic abuse (most children in our refuges will have witnessed the abuse carried out on their mother, some experiencing abuse themselves) can cause immedate and long term cognitive, behavioural and emotional effects. 75% of children in our refuges are 5 and under and at particular risk of negative, life-altering consequences.


    We aim to continue funding a full time Children's worker for our refuges, with the aim of undoing the short and long term harm caused by domestic abuse by delivering a project based on individual support and therapeutic play. She is making significant and important changes in the lives of children in our refuges, many of whom arrive feeling very frightened, uncommunicative & withdrawn. Currently the project has only received enough funding to run part time until December 2013.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To work closely with children to help undo the short and long term harm caused by domestic abuse.


    » Each child to have a needs and safety assessment on entering refuge and regular reviews.
    » Provide therapeutic based support/play programme (in response to individual assessment) to help children share/talk about their experiences/feelings.
    » To respond to needs of the family providing advocacy and practical support.
    » To support resettlement for children 6-8 weeks before end of refuge stay/move to independent living.

    What success will look like

    By the time the children leave refuge (4-6 months), they will have made progress in overcoming negative effects of abuse and become empowered to move on with their lives.

  • Impact


    We aim to support children who have witnessed domestic abuse & had to flee from their homes, in making long term changes linked to improved mental health , able to make a positive contribution, staying safe, enjoying and achieving. Success will be shown through feedback from children, their mothers and other agencies.


    There may be difficulty in engaging with the child when they arrive at refuge. This will be dealt with by tailoring the support they receive to suit their needs and personality, providing them with more one on one support for example.


    Donors to this project will be kept up to date on the number of children we have helped each quarter, progress against our project outcomes and be told of particular case-studies and success stories.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £63,826

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £27,027 Project delivery (part-time) Costs associated with delivering the project including salary, supplies and activities
      £36,799 Remaining salary Remaining amount required to fund the Children's Worker project on a full time basis

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Children in Need £27,027 Guaranteed
    The Chapman Trust £1,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    your Sanctuary operates two refuges in Surrey. Women stay for a period of 4 to 6 months. The refuges can accommodate up to 12 families at any one time; bedrooms are equipped with a varying number of beds and cots and each have their own bathroom; living areas are shared. The exact location of the houses is strictly confidential to ensure that each woman and child remains and feels safe throughout their stay there.


    The project will benefit the children of the women fleeing domestic abuse, with families coming to our refuges from around the country. The project will also allow women the time to rebuild themselves emotionally and encourage strengthened and improved relationships between mother and child.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Your Sanctuary was established in 1977 as Surrey Women’s Aid.. We are a local charity meeting the emotional & practical needs of & empowering people experiencing domestic abuse in Surrey. In 2010 we re-launched with our new name out of a recognition that the issue of domestic abuse is not isolated to a single section of society. Working with partners, Your Sanctuary provides the only comprehensive package of support in Surrey to address domestic abuse.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Children's Worker

    The Children's Worker is responsible for delivery of the project. She works closely with other agencies and has helped 45 children in our refuges.

The children's room in one of our refuges

The children's room in one of our refuges


will provide an extra day per week for 2 months

I have started to feel good and stronger in myself, I’m glad I’ve moved away from the bad stuff

Girl, aged 12