Category Archives: projects

“Not a solution, but a system”: Adoption and Fostering Podcast interview with Delyth Evans

Another cracking podcast from the Adoption and Fostering Podcast team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 26 features an interview with Delyth Evans, Service Manager at the Centre for Adoption and Support. Delyth and Al Coates talk about the experience of child to parent violence within adoptive families. I have been asked a lot recently about safety plans and so of particular interest to me were discussions about family safety planning and safe holding, and all within a context of safeguarding the whole family.

The Centre for Adoption Support offer a three stage support programme for families,

  • A 1 day workshop on child to parent violence
  • An introduction to the principles of NVR
  • A workshop on how to manage challenging behaviour at a practical level

and family safety plans are described as fundamental to the whole offer. The emphasis is very much on understanding the violence in context, rather than as a specific incident; and in supporting parents to find strategies to manage their child’s behaviour while keeping the whole family safe.

Well worth a listen!

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CPV survey: 1st impressions

At the end of November 2016, Al Coates, an adoptive parent and social worker, put out on social media a  survey asking parents about their experience of child to parent violence. You can read more about it here and here. He received 264 responses over a three week period, largely – unsurprisingly given the main mode of dissemination – from adoptive parents. The collation started straight away and a first paper was put out at the start of the new year. First Impressions is available from the CE&LT website, part of the University of Sunderland. Dr Wendy Thorley, of the University of Sunderland, is a member of what might broadly be termed the Steering committee for this project, and she has helped to edit the report.

The survey asked questions about a family’s experience of child to parent violence, and about the age at which it started, the impact on the family, and about the help that had been offered – or not. Continue reading

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Mutual Expectations – a charter for parents and local authority services

Always worth reminding ourselves about the hopes, expectations – and entitlements – of those we work with as professionals. This Charter has been developed by a partnership of parents and practitioners, as part of the work of Your Family, Your Voice Alliance: An alliance of families and professionals working together to transform the system. It aims to promote effective, mutually respectful partnership working between practitioners and families when children are subject to statutory intervention. Such intervention can involve child welfare and family justice, mental health, education and youth justice systems.

The Charter is written for parents, local authorities and their partner agencies and those working for them.

Follow the alliance on twitter @yrfamilyyrvoice.

I am grateful to The National IRO Managers Partnership for bringing it to wider attention.

Source: ‘Mutual Expectations – a charter for parents and local authority services’ – @yrfamilyyrvoice

 

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Who’s in Charge? Practitioners speak!

Who’s in Charge? is a nine week programme developed specifically to support parents who are experiencing violence and abuse from their children. Originally designed in Australia by Eddie Gallagher, Who’s in Charge? has more recently become the go-to programme in parts of south-east England – a testament to the recognition and success of a training team based at Awareness Matters in Suffolk. Just this month, the Who’s in Charge? programme has been awarded the CANparent quality mark:  a recognition of the effectiveness, professionalism and standards of governance displayed and evidenced.

Cathy Press and Carole Williams have offered the Facilitators training now for several years and have worked with professionals across domestic violence agencies, youth offending and children services; as well as the independent sector. In this short video, a number of practitioners talk about their experience of child to parent violence, and the impact this programme has had on the families they work with on a day to day basis.

Who’s in Charge? from Offshoot Films on Vimeo.

If you would like to know more about the programme, or about the facilitator training courses available, see the Awareness Matters website where you will find further information and contact details.

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France responds to “tyrannical children”

I was approached recently by a journalist covering the issue of child to parent violence and abuse in France – where the term “tyrannical child” is being used to describe the issue, for the International Business Times. You can read the article here.

It is always encouraging to hear about new work starting around the world. In France the specialist help that is being developed is located within health services. At the moment the only service is in Montpellier but after an initial trial, using a combination of CBT and NVR techniques and a support group for parents,  this to be rolled out across the rest of the country soon.

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Learning Links funding secured for NVR

Some good news at a time when we are becoming used to hearing of funding being cut. Congratulations are due to Learning Links, a charity based in the south east of England, who announced last week that they have secured funding from Children in Need which will enable them to continue to run their Circles of Support programme for a further two years. Circles of Support consists of Non Violent Resistance (NVR) sessions with additional parent and child relationship building activities. The target is to reach and support parents and carers of 90 children aged between 5 and 17 years.

The Business Development Manager, Clare Mussell  said: “Our NVR courses have been absolutely crucial in supporting families who are living with child to parent violence. It is crucial that families get support to alleviate stress and to ensure that children achieve the best outcomes in life. The BBC Children in Need funding will enable us to deliver NVR and build bridges between parent and child and bring the family back together”.

Learning Links has offices in both Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, and details of how to contact them can be found here.

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CPV Mapping: Question, Questions, Questions!

There has been an amazing response to the launch of the map last week, locating specialist services for families experiencing child to parent violence, with some very lovely compliments – THANK YOU – and many comments and questions via twitter and email. For ease, I am going to combine them and try to answer as many as possible here.

The URL is a bit clunky. Is there a plan to make it easier to remember?

At the moment the project is hosted on a website designed to enable communities to network and support each other. Most of the groups are geographically based, though ours is a community of interest. We chose this platform because of convenience at the time, cost and the support offered. We would like the map to become a properly resourced resource, kept up to date and easily accessible. We would then move it to somewhere more appropriate and memorable.

What do the different colour “hexes” mean on the map?

Each “hex” represents a service. If you click on them you can learn more about the service offered. They are colour coded at the moment by the type of agency. This isn’t necessarily the most helpful way of coding them though, so it might be changed at some point.

Why only England and Wales?

A number of reasons for this. The way we have located services has been through a huge networking exercise. My own network covers England so we have been looking to exhaust possibilities here first. The Steering Group includes a representative from the Youth Justice Board, which covers England and Wales. In order to make the project manageable in the timescale we had to draw a line somewhere, and so decided on England and Wales. There is a different youth justice system in Scotland for instance, and we do not have the same “way in”.  Ireland could indeed be included, as the Daphne RCPV project encompassed the work going on there, but again, time is a factor in this not being included. I know there are people investigating on my behalf though and hoping to send other links as soon as they can. Indeed, I would like to thank the many people who have passed on suggestions of services they know about, and enabled us to cover as much as we have.

Why isn’t the service I told you about included?

Sometimes agencies have decided not to be involved, perhaps because the service they provide is still at the early stages. Sometimes people have just not responded to emails and phone calls. There are lots of reasons for this and I appreciate that everyone is very busy. There is still time for more people to be included at any time. Please do keep sending suggestions, as it is good to know about the work that is going on.

Are you planning to include other types of service?

It would be lovely to be able to capture everything. This might include telephone support, peer mentoring, agencies offering support as part of a more general package, individual counsellors and counselling agencies, to name the types of help I know about. Time!

 

The map is very much a ‘work in progress’. Though this project is nearing the end, we hope that we will be able to find the resources to continue with it and to continue to build a picture of the help that is gradually developing for families experiencing violence and abuse from their children. And finally, do please let us know if you think it would be a useful resource for you, and in what way.

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