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.
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. (There is also a slightly more legible version here)
Following the editorial from Alex Millham, you will find papers by a wide range of authors and practitioners. Continue reading
Two particular things stuck with me after my recent visit to listen to the Birmingham CAMHS team on the adoption of Non-violent Resistance (NVR) in their work with families:
- A pervading sense of thoughtful, calm, enquiring support of each other, with plenty of space built in to reflect on the work as it progresses – or not. It is not unusual for a sense of helplessness and hopelessness to transfer from families to workers, and supervision is vital to work through the pain.
- And a degree of realism that celebrates the successes of NVR as an approach, but also acknowledges that not everyone can be helped, not every act of violence prevented, not always a happy ending. When continued funding is dependent on “evidence” of something working, it is more usual to hear practitioners trumpeting their success rates, and so this honesty was refreshing.
As I was reminded recently while reading a report about the use of residential care for adolescents on the edge of care, we have a rather different model of residential provision in Britain to that in other European countries, where a placement in a therapeutic establishment with highly trained and qualified staff may be the norm rather than the exception for a young person unable to stay at home. Lesser professional qualifications required, residential care as last resort – the sector in Britain has suffered from a period of neglect itself, despite the fact that some of the most troubled young people will be placed in such homes, whether for lack of alternative or as a positive choice. It is sadly to be expected that staff in residential homes will experience levels of abuse and violence from children and teenagers struggling to come to terms with trauma in similar ways to families coping in the community, perhaps to an even greater extent, yet this receives less coverage still. 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!