The interviews for the Mothers Apart Project are well under way and I have completed 13 interviews with 15 participants (two interviews included two participants each). So far, I have interviewed: two Clinical Psychologists – one who is also a Senior Lecturer in clinical psychology and has worked predominantly with trauma and abuse in women and children, and one who is an expert in parental alienation; a Detective Inspector and MARAC chair working in domestic abuse; a Domestic Abuse Safeguarding Police Officer; a Foster Carer; a Project Co-ordinator of a charity supporting women who have been, or are, vulnerable to sexual exploitation; a Supported Housing Manager; a retired District Nurse and Justice of the Peace; a Social Care professional in workforce strategy and development, formerly working in multi-agency domestic violence; a Service Co-ordinator of a mothers’ mental health service; a Counsellor specialising in working with mothers apart; a Youth and Community worker; a Family Support Worker who is also a Learning Support Worker and Emotional Health Worker; and an Addictions Counsellor in a women’s prison.
This is a fantastic variety of professionals who work with, and respond to, mothers apart and it is brilliant to have spoken to so many experts in the field. My research participants have gifted me with a range of both broad and rich experiences and knowledge that make for an amazing multi-agency workshop for professionals who would like to improve their responses to mothers apart. The workshop is on target to be innovative, unique and fascinating – and I am really looking forward to implementing it a little later in the year – hopefully in May.
At the same time mothers apart, service users and service providers are attending monthly planning groups that are held at Coventry Ricoh Arena on the 4th Wednesday of the month 6.30-8.30. Decisions about the planning and development of the workshop are being taken by members of the planning group and this month we will be discussing how mothers apart might physically contribute to the workshop as many professionals say that they want to hear from the women themselves about their experiences. This is great and research shows that training that involves survivors is powerful because it is emotional and, therefore, is a preferred component of any learning programme.
Additionally, I have tentative interviews arranged with: a Psychiatrist; a Lawyer who provides specialist advice to mothers apart; an Academic whose research has focussed on female offenders who are mothers in prison; an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor; a Senior Practitioner in domestic violence and children’s social care; a Midwife, and a Co-ordinator of a specialised project that focuses on the needs of mothers apart.
There are still more professionals who I would like to interview, however. In particular: a domestic abuse service Manager, a GP, a CAFCASS professional and someone from the Freedom Programme. Can you help? If so, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org asap!