Exactly one year on from becoming the first registered provider of affordable housing to achieve the ‘Leaders in Safeguarding’ accreditation, Orbit has achieved its accreditation from the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA).
The DAHA accreditation is the UK benchmark for how housing providers should respond to domestic abuse in the UK and is recognised in the government's Ending Violence against Women and Girls Strategy: 2016 to 2020.
Paul Richards, Group Director of Customer and Communities, said: “We are delighted to achieve this accreditation. The safeguarding of our customers is paramount, and we were determined to build upon the commitments we made as part of the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Make A Stand pledge in 2019.
“Since then we have worked closely with the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance to ensure we are able to support those experiencing domestic abuse, whether customers or colleagues. We’ve worked really hard to reach this point, with changes in policy, practice and culture delivered to encourage disclosure of domestic abuse and to develop our approach to domestic abuse cases as part of a coordinated community response.
“I’m delighted with the progress we’ve made in such a relatively short time, but receiving the accreditation is just the beginning; we know how important it is to maintain these standards, so we will be constantly reviewing how we work to ensure best practice and to achieve re-accreditation in three years’ time.”
As part of the accreditation assessment, the DAHA found evidence of consistent partnership working and of Orbit taking a holistic view of the family experiencing domestic abuse, with consideration being given to both the survivor’s wishes and needs, as well as safety and support for both the survivor and the person perpetrating the abuse to reduce future risk.
Sharon Lesley-Crosby from the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance commented: “I am pleased to congratulate Orbit on achieving DAHA accreditation. Customer safety is clearly a priority, with Orbit committed to working effectively with other agencies in a person-centred way to achieve the best outcomes for customers experiencing domestic abuse.”
During the audit process, DAHA undertook an in-depth review of Orbit’s domestic abuse and safeguarding policies and cases, and interviewed Orbit employees and partner agency representatives.
Sharon added: “From the interviews it was obvious that employees understand the complexity of issues for survivors and the barriers to disclosure and accessing help, with partner agencies describing Orbit employees as ‘helpful, kind and empathetic’, with a real understanding of domestic abuse and its impact on the victims.”