Prior to the mid 1990’s, Probation Services had independently developed intervention programmes, including for domestic violence. Many of these were variations on the Duluth group programme, originally derived from the Duluth coordinated community response project in Minnesota, USA.
The Home Office Accredited Programmes initiative then centralised programme development and led to a moratorium of practice with domestic violence and abuse.
In 2000, the Home Office undertook the Duluth Pathfinder. This involved two UK probation sites, one in London and one in West Yorkshire, running a ‘pure’ model of the Duluth programme.
Supporting effective practice
The approximately five-year period where probation was not undertaking domestic violence work in the main had meant a loss of skilled staff. ignition was commissioned to provide six-weekly effective practice support and consultancy to the West Yorkshire pilot for the two-year duration of the pilot.
Over this period ignition provided input on:
* Core processes of engagement based in Motivational Interviewing (a person centred approach to facilitating change)
* Development of skills of ‘critical dialogue’ and avoiding confrontation
* Effective use of experiential methods for developing skills
* Coaching and training in programme delivery
* Regular practice support reports
* Management reports concerning systemic aspects of the programme
Mary Steed, Programme Manager commented “The work with Ignition was essential to the success of the Duluth Pathfinder in West Yorkshire."