Readers of this blog will be familiar with my dream of mapping specialist services around the country for those experiencing child to parent violence (here). With a small amount of funding secured this undertaking finally began for real in May of this year, working half a day a week. What is being found is telling in a number of ways.
- As expected there is little specialist provision over all.
- Discovering services that are new to me has been difficult. How much more difficult must it be for parents?
- Working out who to approach. In some areas a service is run by a domestic violence organisation, in others through youth offending and some are independent. A single point of contact for referrals / requests is thus absolutely essential.
- Sometimes services are not open to all families. For example, some are only for young people already engaged with the youth offending team.
- Practitioners in local services may not always be familiar with services other organisations are running.
- There is a lot of adaptation of tried and tested programmes to fit local situations (or perhaps the skill set or inclination of the practitioners?)
- Funding issues – there is sometimes a degree of uncertainty as to how long the programme will continue.