A problem the size of Wales

Two eagerly awaited (by me) reports were published last week, coincidentally, both examining the issue of children’s violence to parents as experienced in Wales.

Beyond the Adoption Order (Wales): Discord and disruption in adoptive families, by Professor Julie Selwyn and Dr Sarah Meakings at the University of Bristol, is an important follow up to the report on adoption disruption in England last year. Very similar findings to the England report were found. All cases of disruption included APV,  typically emerging around the age of 13 years. Experiences of support from agencies, family and friends are examined throughout the process. Extensive recommendations are included at the end. Since the time of the report, Wales has established a National Adoption Service.

A public lecture on the findings from the two studies can be seen here.


Motivating Respect: A Welsh intervention into youth-perpetrated domestic violence, by Joanne Payton and Amanda Robinson at Cardiff University, examines an intervention adopted by Gwent Domestic Abuse Service (GDAS), working intensively one to one with young people, using the technique of Motivational Interviewing, also informed by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The one-to-one approach has been found to be particularly useful in that it allows for each intervention to be specifically targeted to need, and for optimising engagement. Positive feedback has been received from referring agencies.

GDAS offers a service to the Blaenau Gwent district, an area experiencing higher than average measures of poverty and deprivation. The report concerns an original piece of research carried out between July 2014 and February 2015. This had two strands: the incidence and trends of youth perpetuated domestic violence, and professionals’ capacity to respond to it; and a description and assessment of the service offered by GDAS. The practitioner survey covered the whole of Wales and produced data strongly suggesting an increase in the incidence of APV over the previous year, while only 22% had a strategy for dealing with it. The report examines different themes and strands of the abuse, and includes case studies illustrating the persistence and approach used. It is noted in the recommendations that the inclusion of the victim in a support package in future, perhaps including elements of the NVR approach, might provide a more comprehensive and sustained improvement. Please do read this report, which introduces some new angles to the discussion about interventions.


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