I posted earlier in the week the details of some training coming up in the UK in April. “Crossing the Line, Working with Teen to Parent Abuse” is a three day training course for practitioners wishing to develop understanding and processes – as well as specific resources – for work in both group and one-to-one situations. On the Events and Training page you can find full details of the course, testimonials and biographies for the two trainers delivering the event, as well as booking forms.
The information was particularly interesting to me in two respects. The trainers are Sally Fawcett and Simon Roe. Sally may already be familiar to people through her work developing the Do it Different programme in the north of England. Simon is also involved in the delivery of Do it Different, and is currently working as a freelance supervisor for Respect, assisting in a three year roll-out & evaluation of their programme for working with teenage domestic violence. This is a new and exciting development for Respect and I plan to post something on it in the next weeks. Secondly, the course specifically offers skills in one to one work.
It can sometimes seem as if the big projects that hit the news are the only ones that we hear about: evaluated and accredited training packages offering between eight and eighteen weeks of structured work with both parents and teens, often with expensive art/ recreation work attached. This is not to disparage this work by any means. There is evidence that parents gain significantly simply from meeting in a group with others in similar positions, before any of the other work begins. (For example, see the report from Adfam/Ava: Between a Rock and a Hard Place.) Nevertheless, the frequent cry is “how do we work if teens won’t engage?” or now also “what do we do if the budget has run out?”
Many people have been offering individual work with parents for a long time, whether as part of a bigger role in their agency, or in a unique service in their area. I have previously posted about the work of PAARS in Enfield, north London and the Hertfordshire Positive Parenting Programme – just two examples of the growing resource we have in the parent abuse field, and we should not forget the work that has been going on for many years within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services around the world. Indeed, some of the earliest programmes emerged out of this work. At times of budgetary constraint it may not be feasible to consider the roll out of group sessions, but there is much to be gained from the skilling up of the workforce to deliver sensitive and proven work on an individual basis in what ever setting, sending them out to spread the word and transform the care and support we offer to troubled families.