I have a sort of Love-Hate relationship with the Trouble Families Programme and so I like to keep abreast of developments and opinion as it unfolds, for instance the announcement last week on September 10th that 14,000 families have now been ‘turned around’.
I am torn between the belief that intensive family support can be extremely productive – and that this is in fact what brought many folk into social work in the first place – and the concern about the turn such a model of intervention has taken on the current government’s watch. Intensive Family Support Programmes have a proud heritage and it is from them, significantly, that we have learnt much about children’s violence to parents in the UK. Continue reading
We should feel encouraged that, increasingly, friends, colleagues, acquaintances are accepting of the fact that there are parents who face regular abuse from their own children; and understand that parents may suffer further humiliation at the hands of the authorities when they do report the abuse, and its cause is identified as a failure of proper parenting. But there are still some aspects of this phenomenon that seem a step too far, even for convinced supporters. I was in just such a conversation recently when I introduced the problem of parents actually being punished for their children’s behaviour. “I don’t believe it – show me the evidence” was the response. It is indeed hard to believe that we still live in a society that is so procedurally rigid that we cannot accommodate the situations that do not fit the standard template.
I would suggest that there are a number of different scenarios here. Continue reading
To what extent is it important to frame the understanding of parent abuse within a particular discipline?
Currently within Britain, and indeed around the world, different models of support have grown up as practitioners have identified the problem within their own working practice. Arguably, parents don’t care what it’s called so long as it works. So child and adolescent mental health services, youth offending teams, family assessment and support arms of children’s services, education officers and domestic violence practitioners have all variously developed their own programmes of advice and support which centre on allowing parents to share experiences, build strength in alternative ways of interacting as a family and rebalancing the power relationships. Continue reading