Please note that the details of the Hull story have been amended since this was first posted.
In my last post I ruminated on the importance of keeping the momentum going, so that the issue of parent abuse does not get forgotten or move out of the public consciousness. The last weeks have certainly seen a number of news articles, training events and publications that have contributed to maintaining a good level of awareness.
Hull Youth Offending Team have been piloting the Step Up programme in their area for a while, and so I was interested to read about the launch of a similar project, “A Better Life for All”, as reported in the Hull Daily Mail. Local papers are always on the look out for copy, and a good place to read “good news stories”. The Better Life for All team have done well in contacting their local paper as a way of raising awareness and gaining coverage. This is a really positive story about the project, now in the process of gaining charitable status, with basic information about child to parent violence, the aims of the project, and particularly their need for further funding. It will be important for the two teams to work together. When national responses are still few and far between, it is even more important that funding is not diluted and that referrers are clear as to what services there are available and how to access them. More coverage here.
In sadder news, there was considerable coverage in the States of a teenager who set her house on fire with the family inside, apparently as a response to being disciplined by her mother. (Here from ABC news) The focus in the story seems to be on the link with particular websites which gave the girl the idea, rather than relationship issues within the family, but acts like this happen within a context. Indeed, while the coverage on the Celebrity and Gossip site, Perezitos, majors on the “scary” factor, there is at least a hope expressed that the young woman will receive help as well as punishment.
Two recent journal publications have been brought to my attention. A clinical article from Reid et al in the Australian Journal of Primary Health was concerned particularly with the AVITH project service system capacity assessment survey. As well as revealing that specific funding is seen to be the single highest need in relation to adolescent violence in the home, it is suggested that the tool itself may prove useful for other locations investigating gaps and needs in relation to adolescent family violence. The second article is from Contreras and Cano in the Journal of Family Violence (September 2014), continuing and extending their research which was first published in Violence and Victims. Their work examines whether there are different family structure profiles for offending adolescents who are violent inside the home as well as outside.
Finally, there are some great training events and conferences coming up, some free of charge. Wakefield Council have a Child to Parent Violence Practitioners’ Forum on Wednesday 29th October. A similar event recently in Leeds was extremely well received, and there is an equally inspirational line up of speakers booked for this event, including Dr Caroline Miles, Simon Retford, Davina James-Hanman OBE, Jane Evans and Neil Blacklock. More details here. Do also check out the training programme from PAC for practitioners working in the field of adoption. As well as regular CPD events, they also host public seminars. The next two, on Living with an Angry Child, are in London on 18th November and Leeds on 19th November. I hope to include a full report on a number of other training events in the near future.