Paws for Kids was started by a group of women who recognised that there is a gap in the provision of services to women and their families who were escaping from violent homes. While refuges could accommodate women and their children, they could not take in any companion animals in the family. Animals had to be either left behind to suffer at the hands of the violent man, given away to someone else or even put down. Often women remain in a violent relationship rather than have to abandon animals to a violent fate or give them away permanently.
Paws for Kids fostering service offers some peace of mind for women and their children, knowing the animals are safe while they await re-housing from a refuge.
Their work does not end there. Research into the effects of living with violence is well documented. Sadly, therapeutic services for women & children are in short supply. Paws for Kids acknowledged that various specialist support services are available through local authorities, schools, the NHS and the voluntary sector.
However, there is often a failure to access or maintain contact with these services. There is also a need to provide bespoke support and care for all the family to complement other specialist services and to maximise take-up of services.
“What We Provide for Women & Children:
One-to-one work with each member of the family.
Whole family group work.
Peer support groups or projects for parents and children respectively.
Referrals to other services with ongoing support.
Mediation and advocacy as necessary.
Coaching and experiential learning.
Joint working with special inputs such as art and drama, outdoor pursuits, leisure.