This is an issue that has raised its head a lot recently in connection with child to parent violence, and about which The Open Nest charity has already developed significant resources. This fact finding survey is circulated for all adoptive parents in Britain and closes at the end of February.
Please use this link to complete the survey.
I have blogged in the past about the use of section 20 of the Children Act 1989 with families experiencing violence and abuse from their children. I know that this is an area of practice that is fraught with disagreement and potential misuse; and it has been the subject of legal discussion too of late (see here for example).
Your Family, Your Voice, an alliance of families and practitioners that has been developed by Family Rights Group to counter the stigma and negative presumptions about families whose children are subject to or at risk of state intervention, have launched an inquiry into the powers and duties which exist under section 20. You will find information about the aims of the inquiry, what form it will take, an invitation to take part – including information about focus groups – and full briefing notes on the NIROP pages linked below. Please do check it out, and contribute to the inquiry if you are affected by any of the issues.
Source: Call to Action – Knowledge Inquiry: Children who come into the care system under a voluntary arrangement
Filed under Policy, Research
The domestic violence and abuse charity, Safe Lives, have just launched their most recent Spotlight feature, which is about young people this time round, and which runs through to the end of March.
Safe Lives Research findings:
In the third of our Spotlights series (end of Jan – end of March), we’ll be focusing on the experiences of young people (13 to 17 years) affected by domestic abuse and the professionals who support them. We’ll be answering questions such as: how can professionals adapt to meet the needs of young people? How does a young person’s experience of domestic abuse differ to an adult’s? What are the best ways to support young people who harm without criminalising them?
Through a combination of blogs, short films and podcasts, we’ll be posting the latest research, practical resources for professionals, practitioner advice/guidance and talking to young people about their experiences. Be part of the conversation through our webinar on 3rd March from 1-2pm, and the Twitter Q&A on 15th March from 1-2pm – use the hashtag #SafeYoungLives.
There will be new content uploaded on the Safe Lives website each week, including discussions about violence and abuse from young people towards their parents and carers, so keep checking regularly. I will tweet further links as they go live!
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< 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.
There has been some concern expressed that the collection of data, and the findings themselves, are not robust and lack the necessary validity and reliability of academic research. To which the answer is that this was never intended as such, but rather as an opportunity for parents to speak and to highlight issues which might perhaps warrant further future investigation. Al is now looking further at the responses received, to draw out themes that warrant greater attention, with a view to encouraging greater research. There will be further papers published, but in the meantime I leave you with this.
Always good to hear about new research starting up, and so it was great to hear from Rachel Condry about a major piece of research beginning in Australia in February 2017.
Investigators: Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Professor Jan Coles, Associate Professor JaneMaree Maher, Professor Jude McCulloch, Dr Deborah Western
Adolescent family violence (AFV) describes violence perpetrated by young people against family members. This distinct form of family violence has a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of families. To date, there is limited research examining AFV, and few tailored responses and programs to address it.
Investigating adolescent family violence is a project being conducted by a multidisciplinary team of Monash University researchers from the School of Social Sciences, the Department of General Practice, and the Department of Social Work. It will explore attitudes towards, patterns of, and the impact of AFV in Victoria. The project builds on, and compliments, work being conducted in the United Kingdom (titled Investigating adolescent violence towards parents).
This is a pilot project, funded by a Monash Affinity grant, which will build knowledge in this complex area, and form the basis of a national project. The findings will be of relevance to all Australian jurisdictions, and have the potential to inform and reform legal, health and social responses to AFV, and provide a greater understanding of ‘risk’.
Associate Professor Rachel Condry, Oxford University, the lead researcher on the UK project will conduct a workshop with Monash researchers in February 2017.
(reblogged from the Monash University website)
Manchester Metropolitan University are offering a PhD scholarship, beginning in September 2017. The project will explore the context and impact of child to parent violence. Its primary focus is how social care conceptualises and responds to child to parent violence, currently an under-researched area, in order to add new perspectives and inform policy and practice.
This timely research will explore the following objectives:
- To review the evidence base for child to parent violence, including where there are gaps.
- To explore the social care policy context for child to parent violence, with a focus upon how it is conceptualised, understood and explained.
- To understand how far child to parent violence is related to other forms of violence and abuse, including whether and how it differs.
- To explore how young people explain violence towards their parents; what led to it happening; the impact upon them and their families and how it was resolved.
- To understand how social care professionals conceptualise the issue and operationalise responses to it. (How they seek to intervene to prevent it, stop it and ameliorate the effects of it on both the child and parent.)
- To identify some of the policy and practice implications of child to parent violence for children’s social care and other key agencies.
Open to applicants from the UK and EU, more details are available here.
Over the last weeks I have been involved in a number of long conversations with people about the harsh realities of living with a violent child, and their sometimes exhausting journeys to finding help and advice. This is truly one of those things that people struggle to understand unless they have been personally touched – it is such an alien notion and no-one can really understand the violence and rage a child can show until they have witnessed it first hand.
Over the years, research around the world has started to uncover the extent of the problem, to speculate on causes, characteristics, correlations …. but all (as far as I am aware) has come from academics and professionals in the field. Now a parent experiencing violence within their own family is seeking to promote understanding of the issue, initially by surveying parents in a similar position and then using the data gained to commission further research and services. Al is an adoptive parent but wants to open this out to all families experiencing violence and abuse, whatever their situation, and to include grandparents and other carers too. You can read the rationale for the survey here, or go straight to the survey here. This is aimed at families living within England and Wales in the first instance.
There is of course some guidance for professionals already published, specifically the Home Office Information guide on adolescent violence and abuse, which forms part of the VAWG strategy; and amongst the small number of books available there is also discussion of different approaches. Nevertheless, while some professionals are now very much on board and fully supportive of families, there are sadly too many still unaware of the degree of violence experienced, the impact on family life and the harm caused to both parents and child without proper support.
Please do support this new venture by completing the survey yourself if appropriate, or by passing it on to others you know. Thank you.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED