The Responding to Adolescent to Parent Violence conference in Kent last week was envisaged as a step in the process of developing a multi-agency county-wide strategy in addressing APV, and the organisers, Kent Integrated Youth Service, are to be commended for the thought with which the day-long event was planned.
Participants from the integrated youth service, the police and secure estate, health, education, children’s services, and voluntary organisations were first given a broad sweeping introduction to the topic, before hearing from a range of projects currently engaged in work, and having a chance to make their own contribution. Workshops included listening to a presentation of the work of various groups and then considering how their approach could be adopted or adapted in Kent. Continue reading
Following on from the Guardian article at the weekend, there has been coverage across radio and TV regarding the findings of the Oxford University research study into adolescent to parent violence. You can listen to an interview on the BBC Radio 4 PM programme here for the next week (about 50 minutes in). In it ‘Jane’ describes living in fear of her son after a violent assault with a knife, the guilt and shame experienced by parents in her situation, and the help she received from the Rosalie Ryrie Foundation in Wakefield. Her son spent one year living out of the home, but has now returned and with the help she receives she has been able to be more confident in the way she responds to his behaviour, walking away when necessary and establishing good boundaries – feeling safer, though not entirely safe still at this time. Rachel Condry, author of the study, and Joe Lettieri, of PAARS in Enfield, also appeared on the early evening BBC London News television programme, and the interview is to be shown again this evening in the late news programme.
“Mental disorders cost the economy more than £100bn a year” …. “2 million more adults and 100,000 more children will need treatment in 2030” … “a reduction in the number of people across the UK developing mental disorders appears to us to be the only way that mental health services will adequately cope with demand in 20-30 years’ time”. Soundbites from a recent piece in the Guardian, reflecting anxiety within the NHS as a whole that the money just won’t stretch far enough; and similar discussions abound whether with regard to physical health, education, criminal justice, social care …. The list goes on. So how to fund something new, such as services for families experiencing child to parent violence, at this time of budgetary constraints and cuts, might seem to be a question too far. Continue reading
Great to hear a six minute piece about parent abuse on the BBC Radio 4 flagship Today programme this morning. (8.22am – 8.28am) Also available from the BBC website here.
Joe Lettieri, from PAARS, was interviewed, and there were 2 clips from interviews with parents. One was a single parent who had experienced escalating abuse from her son (now aged 12) for the last 10 years, and the other a “middle class” mother whose daughter had become physically violent to her only recently, but who had been abusive in other ways prior to this. Both commented that it was the verbal abuse that they found the hardest to take, despite accounts of really quite severe physical injuries. Attention was drawn also to the shame and stigma experienced by parents: “I feel like I’m a rubbish Mum”. Continue reading
Great to see a piece in Woman’s Own magazine (April 8th 2013) covering parent abuse. Media interest flourished in the wake of the announcement of the grant awarded to the University of Brighton to study child to parent violence, and this is one of the results. The piece includes two case studies, the finding from the Metropolitan police area that reports of child to parent attacks account for three percent of all domestic violence cases, and detail from PAARS, who found that more than half of the abusive youngsters they worked with were boys and aged 13 – 15. Jeremy Todd of Family Lives also adds some comment about possible reasons for the violence, and advice to parents about what to do when an argument breaks out; and there is a link to this website. It’s good to hear that the violence has now ended for the two families featured.
What a fantastic day yesterday was! I’m still buzzing and full of ideas on how to take things forward. It was a great opportunity to meet up with over 100 practitioners, mostly from the north of England, as well as an amazing line-up of speakers. Thanks to Central Conference Consultants Ltd for their superb organisation! Continue reading
I posted earlier in the week the details of some training coming up in the UK in April. “Crossing the Line, Working with Teen to Parent Abuse” is a three day training course for practitioners wishing to develop understanding and processes – as well as specific resources – for work in both group and one-to-one situations. On the Events and Training page you can find full details of the course, testimonials and biographies for the two trainers delivering the event, as well as booking forms. Continue reading
I met with the practitioners from PAARS this week to find out more about what they are doing, and to make their project more widely known.
PAARS, which stands for Parent Abuse and Reconciliation Service, is a small, locally based parent abuse project which got off the ground at the beginning of the year with a Lottery grant and three members working evenings and weekends after finishing their day jobs. Joe Lettieri, Ayse Adil and Karen Hunter work as learning mentors and parent support advisors in a secondary school in the London Borough of Enfield. With many years of service between them, they were very familiar with the story of parents struggling with the twin demons of domestic violence and abusive teenagers, young people acting out their anger and pain in risk taking and violent behaviour, but with no available support services on which to call. Even within school, the team was unable to offer a joined up response, and so they formed PAARS to fill the gap. Continue reading
Congratulations to Enfield based Parent Abuse and Reconciliation Service on their lottery grant and mention in the Enfield Independent.