HSES Annual Reports

Research Supporting the HSES Reflective Domestic Abuse Course Approach

Research from the Centre for Gender and Violence Research at the School for Policy Studies has confirmed the effectiveness of training programmes which teach women about domestic violence and empowers them to make positive choices about their lives.

Conducted by Dr Emma Williamson and Dr Hilary Abrahams, the study evaluated the Freedom Programme which has been rolled out in many areas of the UK  and is provided by licensed and trained practitioners in different locations. Home-Start East Sussex deliver courses based on the Freedom Programme approach in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove.   This study, funded by Barnardo’s, was commissioned on behalf of the Bristol Freedom Network to evaluate the Freedom Programme run in Bristol.

Overall, this evaluation shows that the Freedom approach has a positive impact on the lives of the women who participate and as such provides a service to assist women to move on from abusive relationships and to be aware of potential abuse within future relationships.


Thank you for your continued support. E has found the support from your volunteer invaluable as she has come to terms with being a single mother of twins.

Family Outreach Service

The Value of School Readiness Support for Pre-School Children

A report published by the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) in September 2017 has stressed the importance of early language development. The report overview explains:

Early language acquisition impacts on all aspects of young children’s non-physical development. It contributes to their ability to manage emotions and communicate feelings, to establish and maintain relationships, to think symbolically, and to learn to read and write. While the majority of young children acquire language effortlessly, a significant minority do not, and projects such as the Home-Start East Sussex School Readiness home-visiting service are valuable in closing this gap.

The UK prevalence rate for early language difficulties is between 5% and 8% of all children, and over 20% for those growing up in low-income households. The high prevalence among disadvantaged children is thought to contribute to the achievement gap that exists by the time children enter school and continues until they leave.

It is well known that language difficulties predict problems in literacy and reading comprehension, but less well known that they may be indicative of problems in children’s behaviour and mental health as well. For example, oral language difficulties are typically present in the educational profiles of young offenders.

For these reasons the report is the latest in a line of recommendations that early language development be made a primary indicator of child wellbeing. It is also evidence of the need for school-readiness support for pre-school children.

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