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
(Screenshot. See below for link to the interview).
This week saw huge progress in the drive to make child to parent violence less of a hidden problem, with a headline story on Monday’s Victoria Derbyshire show on BBC2, presented by Joanna Gosling.
A film, produced by West Midlands journalist Noel Phillips, led the story, and there was studio discussion from me, alongside Ann Ramsden of the Rosalie Ryrie Foundation and Seamus Oates, Executive Head Teacher of TBAP, representing the Youth Justice Board. The Family Lives helpline was offered for anyone seeking more support or information, and Anastasia de Waal chair of Family Lives answered questions throughout the day on local radio stations also picking up the story. If you listen to local radio you may also have heard stories from other families experiencing violence, and local practitioners discussing their work.
The film features interviews with a mother whose son was eventually removed from the home following violence to her, two young lads speaking candidly about past violence and abuse towards their mother, interviews with Cherryl Henry-Leach, leader of the Doncaster programme – Getting On, and Peter Jakob of Partnership Projects.
I have been asked about the figure of 4 million families being affected, offered by Noel Phillips early on in the film. This comes from the 2012 4Children report, The Enemy Within, based on a YouGov survey, which asked families about their experience of conflict and violence.
We are all very excited to have been involved in this, and look forward to further development of these stories being taken up in the same way in the future.
The recent conference in Galway, hosted by the National University of Ireland in Galway, was an opportunity to hear about progress on the RCPV project and to meet the participants from around Europe, to learn more about NVR, and to meet practitioners from Ireland in particular who are already engaged in work with families experiencing violence from their children. Continue reading