It is always a pleasure to be able to share good news – in a field of work that is too often full of pain and frustration. So I was thrilled to hear about the recent award to Sue Pearson, Education Officer for the Leeds Youth Offending Team, by the Butler Trust, in recognition of ‘the empathy and skill she brings to her “life-changing” work with troubled families, and for the dedication and compassion she demonstrates in addressing the issue of child-to-parent violence’.
Sue received her award from HRH The Princess Royal. (Photo from Butler Trust)
Sue helped to develop the PACT (Parent and Children Together) programme in 2012; a 12-week programme working with mothers, and their sons and daughters, in a way that is recognised as healing and transformative by colleagues and parents alike. You can read more about the award, and the background to Sue’s work and nomination here.
I have met Sue at numerous conferences and networking events. It is a privilege to hear her speak about her work, and I am thrilled to be able to add my congratulations to those of the Butler Trust.
Not a very snappy headline I’ll grant you but the alternative was too cheesey – “Keeping gender on the agenda”. Yeah, I know…..
While there are a small number of studies that have found little difference between the violence and abuse from young women and young men towards their parents, the general accumulation of research seems to point otherwise, and it is likely that this discrepancy can be accounted for by the type of survey, the type of data examined, the particular expression of violence or abuse, or the ages of the young people involved. Eddie Gallagher has a chapter on gender in his commentary on the literature regarding child to parent violence, and he confirms the experience of those involved in clinical practice or the legal world, as well as recent research in Oxford and Brighton, that boys are three or four more times as likely to be involved in CPV than are girls. This difference is most markedly shown as the age increases, and the level of violence worsens. This is not to deny that many girls and young women are extremely violent and abusive towards their parents; and Gallagher also suggests that their levels of violence may be increasing. Continue reading
I have just spent an exciting and inspiring morning with representatives of the Youth Offending Service across the East Midlands at their first Regional Practitioners Peer Learning Event in Nottingham. Around 50 – 60 had gathered to learn more about responses to adolescent violence to parents, and – importantly – to formulate action plans for their own areas before they left.
I was privileged to open the session, setting the scene with an overview of parent abuse, before Anne-Marie Harris from the Youth Justice Board spoke about upcoming developments at a national level. The feasibility study on the introduction of special domestic violence courts within the youth court system is not due to report until December, but Anne-Marie indicated that a number of practical and ethical difficulties have been identified around this direction of travel. Nevertheless, opportunities remain for creative thinking around service delivery, including programmes similar to the Step Up model. Continue reading
It’s always exciting to hear how different projects are going. Here Jenny Bright, of the Leeds Youth Offending Service, brings us up to date on her work raising awareness about adolescent to parent violence, and devising a programme for families.
Following an inspirational awareness raising day facilitated by Lynette Robinson and Sally Fawcett (who was at that time working with Lynette at Alternative Restoratives) in September 2011, I have been determined to raise awareness of the issue of child to parent abuse across agencies in Leeds and to develop a specific response, based on promising practice from the UK and further afield. Once your awareness has been raised, doing nothing is not an option! Continue reading