Tag Archives: RYPP

Taking #CPV services online, Part 3

Welcome to 2021 as we in Britain face the prospect this week of further restrictions, even as the COVID vaccine becomes available! This time last year many of us would have been very sceptical about delivering services online, or even working from home, yet here we are – struggling with some aspects admittedly, but wondering whether some things work better in fact, and vowing to keep them on in future; and so I bring you the third part in a series looking at issues around taking services for families experiencing CPVA online. The last few months have seen the publication of numerous reports into life and service effectiveness under the pandemic, and I am particularly conscious of recent research highlighting the problem of parent participation in work with children’s services around child protection. While different circumstances pertain to work with families experiencing violence from their own children, this has also highlighted issues of power in the relationship with those who use our services, which we do well to remember and attend to in all our plans and delivery.

Back in July and August I spoke with a team delivering the Who’s in Charge? Programme online, and with a parent, and remained keen to examine the impact of the changes for those working directly with young people causing harm in the home. This was reinforced for me by the recent HMIP report, highlighting the need for changes in the delivery of support to families experiencing child and adolescent to parent violence, so it was good to be able to speak to a practitioner using the Respect Young People’s Programme (RYPP) for IDAS in Yorkshire. 

The programme has been delivered by a small children’s team within IDAS, working across North Yorkshire, for the last 7.5 years, in work commissioned by the PCC. The team was originally bigger, but there is now only one full-time worker. The RYPP can be delivered to families, or in 1-2-1 work. It includes ‘parallel work’ to parents and young people, with important joint meetings at the start, halfway point and at the end. As with other projects across the country, some people have struggled to move work on line for a variety of reasons. Having decided early on in the year however that he would have to ‘make it work’ because of the need, this practitioner has now reached a model which he is confident in, and believes that his productivity has actually increased as a result!

Phone calls were clearly going to be a problem doing anger management work, and so it was time to get to grips with zoom. In a large rural area such as North Yorkshire, there had been a lot of no-shows in the past for a range of reasons, but one of the first things that was noticed was that attendance by parents improved significantly once there was no need to travel. Some aspects around family introductions were less easy – playing games as icebreakers for instance – but with a commitment to make things work for the all-important early sessions, ways have been found. Consent protocols were changed to accommodate the new situation, with verbal agreements, but with consideration to ways in which this could be recorded. 

Ironically, getting young people to the screen proved more difficult. Some young people were simply not ready to engage in the process, some perhaps ashamed of their behaviour.  There was a clear need for rules and expectations to maintain some element of formality, particularly for young people with special needs, around keeping still and not engaging in other things at the same time – as well as making sure children returned a parent’s device immediately rather than going on a shopping spree! Illness, bereavements, birthdays and competing calls from peers also contributed to an engagement rate of around 70% for the young people, so in some cases the work happened solely with the parents, supporting them to make changes which would impact on home life. 

The assessment and management of risk via online work has attracted attention as an issue of concern. Risk assessments are undertaken at the start of work with families, updated in the middle and then reviewed at the end, though with a dynamic approach to this throughout the programme. The middle point, with a family agreement, often sees risk escalate, as more expectations are placed on the young person at this point. Nevertheless, there is a level of confidence that this can be managed through careful communication, and judgement honed through experience. Care must also be taken regarding confidentiality, and this will prove more problematic for some families than others where space may be limited, technology shared, or where controlling behaviour comes in to play. 

As Lockdown eased towards the end of the year, some families returned to face-to-face work (in a mixture of schools, office and children’s centres), particularly where workers had been less confident with the technology. As schools reopened, it seemed that young people were more likely to engage if the meeting took place while they were in school (whether face to face or online), where behaviour may not be such an issue, and where the power they hold is less to start with; but there are some aspects of the new way of working that the team would like to maintain.

Attending multi-agency and multi-disciplinary meetings online has been very successful, cutting out travel and waiting time and making it easier to obtain a wider attendance. Team meetings and peer support have also been a positive experience – and definitely doing paperwork away from the noise of the office! Parents seem to like the virtual offer, and so that may stay, and the time saved in these ways will allow for greater input in the young people’s work, an element where it is difficult to achieve the same energy or to undertake the same activities working through zoom. 

Before we uncritically herald in the new dawn, are there any after thoughts? 

Well, our RYPP practitioner is definitely looking forward to getting back to working face to face with young people – you can’t beat that! And the crucial bit?

I’ve tried to make it work!

As always, I welcome comments around this difficult issue of online work. The intention has been to share learning and to highlight areas that need special consideration, for the benefit of all. There is plenty of room for other contributions if people would like to share their insights from the year!

Leave a comment

Filed under Discussion, projects

“Sharper focus and more detailed planning” needed for parents experiencing CPV

The need to work remotely during the Covid19 pandemic – and particularly during lockdown – has been challenging for practitioners and families alike. Some have managed to embrace new ways of working, even questioning the assumptions of old methods; others have struggled whether because of the vagaries of technology, skills, specific needs or the particular group of people being supported. Research into ways of working through the pandemic has already revealed much that is good and much that needs improvement, and so I was interested to read the HMIP report into the Covid19 Inspection of Youth Offending Services: A thematic review of the work of youth offending services during the COVID-19 pandemic Nov 2020 Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under publications

#APVA: Change prompted by a Domestic Homicide Review

I am pleased to bring you this post from Neil Blacklock, Development Director at Respect, who has been following recent developments in Northumbria.


In November 2015, in Northumbria a mother was murdered by her 16-year son. The resulting Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) reported that safeguarding structures designed to identify and protect victims of domestic abuse were not attuned to pick up and respond to Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse (APVA) and that agencies had not fully understood the risk that her son posed. Continue reading


Filed under Discussion, Policy, projects

Respect National Practitioners’ Day

Respect seminar flyer


The 10th Respect National Practitioners Seminar  took place in London last week.

In the morning we were treated to an excellent presentation from Carlene Firmin on her research into peer on peer abuse. Unlike the other presentations, Carlene’s will not be available on the Respect website as the research is still ongoing, but much of her work can be found on her own website, MsUnderstood.  There were many points at which she could have been talking about child to parent violence – so many cross overs. I will have to give this some more thought, but to be going on with:

  • Peer on peer abuse straddles many different concepts and fields and so remains hidden.
  • The importance and power of friendship groups as young people move into adolescence.
  • The offer of parenting programmes because that is what is available rather than making a proper assessment of need.
  • The problems that arise when violence becomes normalised.
  • Limitations to changing individuals without wider social change.
  • Issues around child protection and safeguarding.

The overall tone was optimistic however. As we learn more we have more opportunities to intervene earlier. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under conference report

The Respect Young People’s Programme: one year in.

The Respect Young People’s Programme (RYPP) has been running for just over a year now, and so it seemed like a good time to catch up with the director of the programme to hear how it’s been going. RYPP is an intervention for 10-16 year olds and their parents where the young person has used violence or aggressive behaviour towards a parent. Many thanks to Neil Blacklock of Respect, who has written this End of Year Report, with especial attention to lessons learnt. I was particularly interested to read about the management and organisational lessons, as this is an area which we do not address so often.  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under projects

“An alignment of the planets”

Returning to the topic of themes that emerged from the recent conference on domestic violence by children against parents, in Nottingham, I’d like to look at 2 more ideas that caught my attention.

Launching the conference, Jo Sharpen, from AVA,  described it as very timely, and indeed, throughout the day, speakers referred to a series of events that support our focus on the issue of child to parent violence at this time. The changed definition of domestic violence in England and Wales (with the publication of the Home Office Guidance to which AVA contributed), was highlighted and declared helpful in recognising that under 18s could be abusive, though bringing parent abuse within the domestic violence umbrella was also considered problematic, because of the important differences between CPV and IPV and the potential criminalisation of young people (see my earlier post for more details). March also saw the publication of the UK Government Action Plan: A call to end violence against women and girls, and the launch of the EVAWGUK policy. Though parent abuse is sadly still not specifically mentioned, it does offer opportunities to discuss the issue more widely. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under conference report, Discussion