Continuing the series of guest blogs, I am pleased to bring you this from Amanda Holt, information about a service in Illinois for families experiencing adolescent family violence. I was particularly thrilled to hear from Amanda, as I have been contacted a number of times by people in the States asking for pointers and guidance in developing or accessing help. News of the screening tool is very welcome, and I was also very interested in the understanding that girls are coming from different circumstances, with separate needs. Finally, the first responder aspect is one which can hopefully feed in to similar discussions taking place in the UK at present. Please do check out all the links; there is a lot of information here and it will take a while to digest it all, but it brings a new interpretation to the table which many will find helpful I think. Thank you Amanda!
This month marks the tenth anniversary that North East DuPage Family and Youth Services (NEDFYS) (in Illinois, US) ran its first adolescent family violence programme, based on principles from the Step-up programme that was developed by Greg Routt and Lily Anderson in King County, Washington State in 1997. Since that time, 170 families have completed all 21-week sessions and graduated successfully: of these, only 11 (6%) were rearrested for a new offence related to family violence within 12 months after graduation. The programme itself is a collaborative effort between the Juvenile Court Judges, the States Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s office, Northeast DuPage Family and Youth Services and Probation and it emerged from a Models For Change four-year grant that DuPage County received from the MacArthur Foundation beginning in 2006. Continue reading
I have written in the past about work taking place in the state of Victoria, Australia, both in terms of research and government policy. You can read about the work the Adolescent Family Violence Research team here, and the 2016 Royal Commission on Family Violence here. (Although set up specifically by the Victorian government, there was a hope that relevant measures might be adopted more fully by the federal government.)
It was very encouraging last week to see the press release from the Victorian government concerning the announcement of $1.35 million over 2 years to strengthen work addressing the reduction of adolescent violence in the home. This will go towards programmes across three sites, which seek to access help for young people in areas of their lives impacting on the use of violence; in strengthening family communication and relationships; and crucially, intervening early to offer help before violence is entrenched and serious. The funding announcement has been welcomed by groups such as that in Geelong, which runs the Step-Up, Building Healthy Relationships programme, and which last year offered support to 96 families.
Where governments understand the issues there is real hope for funding and change. Sadly, this is not the case everywhere, and continuous budget cuts (for instance in the UK) not only slow down the development of support services, but also risk decimating what early help there is.
In one of those serendipitous ways this topic has cropped up in a lot of separate conversations recently so I thought I’d gather a few thoughts together.
I am indebted to Carole Williams, Parenting Officer in Ipswich and with many years experience as a Who’s in Charge? trainer, for her help in putting this piece together; and also to Cathy Press, Who’s in Charge? trainer, therapist and DA consultant with Awareness Matters, for her input. Although these comments come particularly from experience of working in group situations, many are relevant to one-to-one work also. Continue reading
Please note that the details of the Hull story have been amended since this was first posted.
In my last post I ruminated on the importance of keeping the momentum going, so that the issue of parent abuse does not get forgotten or move out of the public consciousness. The last weeks have certainly seen a number of news articles, training events and publications that have contributed to maintaining a good level of awareness. Continue reading
I am pleased to post the following announcement, sent to me by Greg Routt and Lily Anderson.
Announcing the publication of a new book from Routledge on July 12, 2014 by the creators of Step Up in Seattle, Washington. Adolescent Violence in the Home Restorative Approaches to Building Healthy, Respectful Family Relationships Gregory Routt and Lily Anderson
Adolescent Violence in the Home examines a form of violence that has a profound impact on families but is often overlooked and frequently misunderstood: teen aggression and violence toward members of their family—especially parents. Adolescent Violence in the Home uses a restorative framework, developed by the authors and in use in court systems and organizations around the world, to situate violent behaviors in the context of power and the inter generational cycle of violence. Readers will come away from this book with a profound understanding of the social and individual factors that lead youth to use violence and how adolescent violence affects parents, and they’ll also learn about a variety of interventions that specifically address teen violence against parents. Continue reading
The Youth Justice Convention, hosted over two days in Birmingham, UK, at the end of November, included this year a seminar on children’s violence to parents (CPV). The convention is an annual event – this was the fourteenth – and is an opportunity to debate and discuss the latest youth justice policy developments. All the seminars are archived online and can be accessed here. (Update 2017: these videos don’t seem to be available any longer)
The CPV seminar, number 20 in the archive, was chaired by Paula Wilcox, with Martyn Stoner of Break4Change, and Paul Morris and Vicky Hodgson, from Hull Youth Offending Service, where a Step Up project has been piloted. Each gave a presentation of their project with a discussion at the end about differences and similarities. 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
This piece from the Orlando Sentinel on 4th October, reporting on responses to parent abuse following the death of Rosemary Pate at the hands of her son, has popped up a number of times in the last week, cross-posted in different places. It was good to see the topic of parent abuse getting a good airing after an earlier item appeared in the same paper in a couple of months ago (see my post of 24th August); and encouraging to see a call for early intervention to prevent abuse before it reaches this stage. Continue reading