Updating the APVA Guidance Document

Five years ago, after many months of creative debate and editing, we launched the Home Office guidance document on Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse (APVA). It was part of the government’s commitment through the VAWG strategy, but also fulfilled a need identified at the launch of the findings of the Oxford research project into APVA.

The last five years have seen new developments in understanding, with more awareness of the wider age range affected; with growing appreciation of the difficulties experienced by families with children who are neuro-diverse; with more research into CPV within adoptive families; and sadly the disappearance of some projects and programmes while others have come on line. There is more literature available than before: significantly more research papers, but also a growing library of books. There has been a certain degree of disappointment that the government’s interest has not really developed beyond the publication in that time, but the Domestic Abuse Bill (and accompanying consultation response), which we must hope will make it through eventually, specifically gives a commitment to:

… draw together best practice and develop training and resources to improve the response to victims of adolescent to parent violence.


… promote and embed existing Home Office guidance and general principles in addition to working with experts to develop service-specific guidance.

So, last week a group of us met with members of the Home Office to begin the process of updating and redrafting the guidance. With an amazing amount of both expertise and commitment in the room, we have to remain optimistic about where this will end up! We looked at where positive things have happened, and where there is still significant room for change; what can happen quickly; what the priorities might be; and where we anticipate the blocks. The need was agreed for a document that is both concise and clear, and for specific guidance to be developed further within each sector, with debate around how it is used at present, and how greater engagement with it might be achieved.

The previous document took many months to produce. I have no expectations that this updating will take any less time – and indeed it is right that the review should be thorough. So, don’t expect any news in the near future, but do watch this space!

I would be interested to hear from others what experience they have had in using the current guidance document:

  • Was it easy to find? How did you come across it?
  • Why did you access it?
  • Was it relevant to your situation?
  • What changes would you make?



Filed under Discussion

4 responses to “Updating the APVA Guidance Document

  1. Nikola

    Was it easy to find? Yes if you know what you are looking for.
    How did you come across it? Googled. Research for uni work and personal interest in the topic and developments due to my own abuse from my children.
    Why did you access it? Internet
    Was it relevant to your situation? Yes it was I have used parts for my uni work.
    What changes would you make? It is a very lengthy read however found it easy to find particular parts through the contents page. The definition is confusing and not clear. I do understand the definition maybe changed in the new domestic violence bill however, looking at that I cannot find anything for CPVA.
    If their is please can you point me in the right direction.
    Thank you

    • Thank you very much for taking the time to reply so specifically. Your comments are very helpful. You are right that there is little mention specifically of child to parent violence in the Domestic Abuse Bill (though some of Adolescent to Parent Violence) and this is partly because of the lower age limit of 16 years plus. There remains some ambivalence too as to whether we should be conceptualising CPV in this way, when it may involve very young children and responses to disability or trauma. We hope that by offering the guidance we will enable practitioners to think about it in a holistic way and to consider all the needs of the entire family.

  2. Isaac Adams

    I Welcome this review of this document and anticipate further updates in the coming months.
    I work within a early help locality in Bury and have used this document as a basis of discussion with our MASH and statutory social car teams.
    This document was not easy to find I think the use of an abbreviation rather than a concise title makes this more difficult.
    I think there is a need to regularly update /review this document unordered for it to be considered relevant in working practise.

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