The Family Forward Service

About us:

We are a part of Womens Aid Orkney dedicated to supporting families who have experienced domestic abuse.

What we do:

We support families to build on their strengths as a family group. We help families get the most out of our local community and overcome the effects of domestic abuse. We can provide individual family sessions in your own home and host group activities out and about.

How to get involved:

Any family with experience of domestic abuse (now or in the past) can get in touch with us to join the programme. We cannot work with men or perpetrators of abuse.

You can get in touch by email: or via our Facebook page . You can also call the Womens Aid Orkney office on 01856 877900.

How we support families:

The first step is to meet together with one of our family support workers who will explain what we do.

We fill out some basic paperwork to identify your family ambitions and goals. Normally our support involves meeting for a series of support sessions in your own home. You will also be welcome to take part in our programme of events and activities throughout the year. Sometimes these events are limited due to availability of spaces, but we try to ensure everyone has all the opportunities they need to progress through the programme fully (and have a good time!). You will have a family journal or workbook to complete over the course of the year which will help you to achieve and document your goals.

The messy complexity of life:

We recognise that life is not simple. Good parenting and good relationships depend on a whole host of factors, many of which are outside our control. It is true however, that whatever life throws at us, we have to try to make the best of it in order to thrive. With compassionate understanding and acceptance, Family Forward has at its centre the ethos that our families are always trying their best at any given time. There will always be challenges, but we aim to support you to have fun as a family and build strong foundations in our community.


Relationships have the power to make us feel great, or totally the opposite. We spend time during the Family Forward programme sharing our understanding of what helps make strong and healthy relationships. We help families recognise their natural skills at interacting, so they can build on these and develop confidence in them.

Building connections:

Often families who have experienced domestic abuse encounter all kinds of barriers to participation in social and community activities. Issues such as affordability, transport, confidence and local know-how can all make it very difficult to take part in things. Family Forward helps identify these barriers and break them down.