Council to retender domestic abuse support as service moves in-house

A new, improved domestic abuse service is under development for residents of Bridgend County Borough.

The Cabinet of Bridgend County Borough Council has agreed a series of proposals that will bring the direct management of support services for people experiencing domestic abuse in-house while inviting external organisations to submit tenders for providing specialist areas of support.

With the current contract for providing domestic abuse services set to end in April 2021, independent reviews of the service have been carried out.

These found that making fresh changes would avoid duplication of work between teams and make the overall service more cost-effective while delivering improvements in areas such as confidentiality, efficiency, staff knowledge, training and communication.

The reviews also found that the move will deliver greater flexibility for how services are provided while improving the ways in which qualified staff are deployed and used.

With the management and provision of drop-in and community-based support services taken on by the council, existing advice staff will have an opportunity to move across into the new service.

Work is underway to invite tenders from external organisations for providing specialist support as part of the new service.

Councillor Dhanisha Patel, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations, said: “With the current contract coming to a natural end in April 2021, this has given the council an opportunity to review the full range of domestic abuse support, such as drop-in advice and guidance, supported housing, refuge accommodation for women, community-based support, specialist children’s services and more.

“The changes will all be focused upon re-shaping the provision to provide the best service possible for residents of Bridgend County Borough.

“Independent reviews of the service have identified a number of areas where it can be streamlined and made more efficient for the benefit of local people, and has also established that it can be transferred into the council with no loss of jobs or additional costs.

“This is an important service, one that has a real impact on some of the county borough’s most vulnerable residents, and I am looking forward to seeing how we can develop and improve it further.”