An odd question for me to be asking perhaps after all this time! I was very struck by the recent paper from Amanda Holt and Sam Lewis talking about the ways that child to parent violence is variously constructed by government and by practitioners, and the implications of this for practice. The starting positions we take, the assumptions we make may well be unconscious, but if it has taught us nothing else, CPV has surely taught us that we need to examine every assumption, challenge every preconception and get ready to believe the apparently impossible! That said, the debate as to where CPV “sits” (not quite domestic abuse, not quite juvenile delinquency, not quite safeguarding) does continue to grind on – albeit very slowly. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Declan Coogan
12th November 2019
In different parts of Ireland, parents/ carers are living in fear of a son or daughter who lives with them and who is under the age of 18 years of age.
Parents are feeling powerless
As a social worker, psychotherapist and researcher, I have heard parents describe their feelings of walking on eggshells around their child and of living in fear of the next explosive outburst leading to threats and acts of harm and/ or violence against parents who feel powerless and alone. Social workers and other health and social care practitioners in voluntary and statutory services talk about the feelings we face when parents and carers tell us about living in fear of their child under the age of 18 years old. We are faced with difficult dilemmas: how can we resist the impulse towards a quick and easy solution that probably will not work…
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It’s great to see a new book in the field of child to parent violence and abuse coming out later this year from Declan Coogan, who has driven the development of understanding and use of Non Violent Resistance in Ireland.
Addressing the under-reported issue of child to parent violence and abuse, this book presents the effective intervention method of Non-Violent Resistance. Tips for adapting the method, alongside case studies and downloadable forms make this an invaluable tool for practitioners working with affected families.
Providing an authoritative overview of the growing phenomena of child to parent violence – a feature in the daily life of increasing numbers of families – this book outlines what we know about it, what is effective in addressing it, and outlines a proven model for intervention.
Based on Non Violent Resistance (NVR), the model is founded on a number of key elements: parental commitment to non-violence, de-escalation skills, increased parental presence, engaging the support network and acts of reconciliation. The book outlines the theory and principles, and provides pragmatic guidance for implementing these elements, accompanied by case studies to bring the theory to life.
Declan was part of the team who worked on the pan-European RCPV project which reported in 2015; and continues to teach, train and develop the work within Ireland.
Is it me, or have things quietened down a bit at the moment? Granted, I’m not on top of everything across the world, but in terms of big news making events we seem to be having a down period. How do we keep the momentum going in such a situation?
Personally I very much value the opportunity to talk through ideas, listen to those on the front line, apply learning and support each other. It’s also how we test theory, develop new work and highlight areas of need. Without comradeship and support, practitioners as well as parents can feel discouraged and isolated. And there is some quite discouraging news about as budget cuts within the Youth Offending Service in England and Wales take effect and CPV programmes are axed or subsumed into general work. But against this background there are other moves which are worth celebrating. Continue reading
The publishers of Context, the magazine for members of the Association for Family Therapy, have graciously allowed me to pass on the link to the April 2014 issue of their magazine, which focuses on child to parent violence and NVR in particular as an appropriate model of work with families across many profiles.
Following the editorial from Alex Millham, you will find papers by a wide range of authors and practitioners. Continue reading
I have recently been sent links to new and additional published articles in the field of adolescent to parent abuse; and have updated the Reading List page accordingly.
A paper by Caroline Miles and Rachel Condry, Adolescent to parent violence: the police response to parents reporting violence from their children, further develops the discussion arising from the findings of their three-year research project. This paper specifically examines police responses and suggests a way forward that offers support and restorative action for families. (Abstract here.)
Declan Coogan has a paper entitled Responding to Child-to-Parent Violence: Innovative Practices in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, in the Health and Social Work Journal, Special Issue: Child and Adolescent Health. (Abstract here) He considers obstacles in the recognition of, and response to, child to parent violence, and proposes the Non Violent Resistance Programme as a positive way forward.
Sally Donovan’s second book about the experiences of adoptive parenting, The Unofficial Guide, offers a further raw and powerful account of living with children traumatised by earlier life. She offers practical steps and guidance for parents, but the book is well worth reading for anyone involved in the adoption or CPV field.
I’ve also tidied up the links to the Family Lives / Parentline reports as I have been told they have been difficult to find on the website. Hopefully that is now improved.
Please do let me know about any other books or articles to add to the list. It is not exhaustive by any means, and certainly does not include early work, which I should get round to adding at some point!
In the meantime, Happy Reading!
The recent conference in Galway, hosted by the National University of Ireland in Galway, was an opportunity to hear about progress on the RCPV project and to meet the participants from around Europe, to learn more about NVR, and to meet practitioners from Ireland in particular who are already engaged in work with families experiencing violence from their children. Continue reading
This piece in the Irish Times dropped into my inbox over the weekend.
Declan Coogan addressed the Annual Work Conference in Dublin, hosted by the National Family Support Network, with details from his own work in the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre in NUI Galway, and as project leader in Ireland for the EU-funded project ‘Responding to Child to Parent Violence’. Reporting that this is the one of the fastest growing issues in calls to parent-support organisations such as Parent Line, he gave examples of children as young as eight terrifying and violently assaulting their parents. He also spoke about his programme of Non-Violent Resistance (NVR), which has been found to be helpful in work with families experiencing parent abuse.
You can read more about NVR in an earlier post on this site. Details of the international conference in Galway in June 2014 will be posted on my Events and Training page as soon as they become available.