Tag Archives: Youth Justice Board

The BBC tackles child to parent violence

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(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.


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CPV Mapping: Question, Questions, Questions!

There has been an amazing response to the launch of the map last week, locating specialist services for families experiencing child to parent violence, with some very lovely compliments – THANK YOU – and many comments and questions via twitter and email. For ease, I am going to combine them and try to answer as many as possible here.

The URL is a bit clunky. Is there a plan to make it easier to remember?

At the moment the project is hosted on a website designed to enable communities to network and support each other. Most of the groups are geographically based, though ours is a community of interest. We chose this platform because of convenience at the time, cost and the support offered. We would like the map to become a properly resourced resource, kept up to date and easily accessible. We would then move it to somewhere more appropriate and memorable.

What do the different colour “hexes” mean on the map?

Each “hex” represents a service. If you click on them you can learn more about the service offered. They are colour coded at the moment by the type of agency. This isn’t necessarily the most helpful way of coding them though, so it might be changed at some point.

Why only England and Wales?

A number of reasons for this. The way we have located services has been through a huge networking exercise. My own network covers England so we have been looking to exhaust possibilities here first. The Steering Group includes a representative from the Youth Justice Board, which covers England and Wales. In order to make the project manageable in the timescale we had to draw a line somewhere, and so decided on England and Wales. There is a different youth justice system in Scotland for instance, and we do not have the same “way in”.  Ireland could indeed be included, as the Daphne RCPV project encompassed the work going on there, but again, time is a factor in this not being included. I know there are people investigating on my behalf though and hoping to send other links as soon as they can. Indeed, I would like to thank the many people who have passed on suggestions of services they know about, and enabled us to cover as much as we have.

Why isn’t the service I told you about included?

Sometimes agencies have decided not to be involved, perhaps because the service they provide is still at the early stages. Sometimes people have just not responded to emails and phone calls. There are lots of reasons for this and I appreciate that everyone is very busy. There is still time for more people to be included at any time. Please do keep sending suggestions, as it is good to know about the work that is going on.

Are you planning to include other types of service?

It would be lovely to be able to capture everything. This might include telephone support, peer mentoring, agencies offering support as part of a more general package, individual counsellors and counselling agencies, to name the types of help I know about. Time!


The map is very much a ‘work in progress’. Though this project is nearing the end, we hope that we will be able to find the resources to continue with it and to continue to build a picture of the help that is gradually developing for families experiencing violence and abuse from their children. And finally, do please let us know if you think it would be a useful resource for you, and in what way.

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“Cases of children abusing their parents has soared by 60% in two years”

People have been much exercised over recent weeks by an apparent huge rise in the number of younger and younger children being involved in serious crime; and bundled in with this is the issue of these children’s violence and abuse towards their parents. Both the Daily Mail and Telegraph published items around this theme, and I saw the same story covered by the website Dad info.

What are we to make of this?

First, we must be cautious about the meaning we ascribe to crime statistics, as to any data. Crime figures have always been affected by reporting behaviour (of both victims and police), societal attitudes (some would like to attribute it to parents giving up their parenting responsibilities to the state), by targeted programmes, categorisation, and also – certainly in the past – by the practice of “manipulation”. The figures, too, come on the back of reported “very large reductions in serious youth violence” in the previous year, reported also by the Youth Justice Board, in January of this year; though there may be some localised variations in this. Scepticism is important, but we need to also acknowledge real changes society, such as an increase in the use of children by gang members seeking to evade the law themselves, or to the impact of different exclusion policies adopted as the picture of school governance changes across the country, which may act to drive up figures of real crime. Continue reading

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Information Guide: Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse

The second of two launch days for the Interim Information Guide: Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse took place in London on Monday. (The first was in Manchester last week.) Despite the short notice, brought about by looming general election clogging up the works of the Home Office, there was an excited and positive response both days from the 100+ delegates from across management, commissioning and frontline services. Continue reading

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Leeds Practitioners’ Forum on Child-to-Parent Violence

I was very disappointed not to be able to attend the Practitioners’ Forum at Leeds University, but thrilled to present this review of the day from Dr Sam Lewis, which also gives links to all the presentations.

On 15th July a Practitioners’ Forum on Child-to-Parent Violence (CPV) was held in the School of Law at the University of Leeds. The event, which was organised by the University’s Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS), Leeds Youth Offending Services (YOS) and Wakefield Troubled Families Scheme, attracted over 100 delegates from different agencies and areas. Continue reading

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A call to end violence against women and girls, revised action plan 2014

The revised edition of the Home Office’s ‘A Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls’ Action Plan (2014) has just been published and now includes specific references to child to parent violence, with two actions (reference 63 and 139) ‘Develop and disseminate information for practitioners working with children and families on how to identify and address the risks posed by adolescent to parent violence’. These are new and fall within the joint remit of the Home Office and Youth Justice Board, to be addressed by December 2014 and April 2015 respectively. Continue reading

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East Midlands Practitioners Peer Learning

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

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An update on Step Up in the UK

Today we have a guest post from LynetteRobinson, of Alternative Restoratives. Lynette is thrilled to have had her work in the field of parent abuse recognised by the Youth Justice Board, who have adopted her programme based on the American Step Up model. 

Three years ago, I visited Youth Justice Teams in Seattle and Toledo (America) to observe their ‘Step UpBuilding Respectful Family Relationships’ programmes, as part of my Winston Churchill Fellowship research ‘Interventions and restorative responses to address teen violence against parents’.

The parents and teens who attended these joint group work sessions seemed as interested in me (a UK visitor) as I was in them and their programme! During that first coffee break, one mother came over to me (with a puzzled look on her face) and asked “Do parents in England have this problem too?”    Continue reading

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A successful year for Hertfordshire Practical Parenting Programme

A year ago I spotted a piece in the Hertfordshire local press about a big lottery grant awarded to a new project working with families experiencing child to parent violence.  Last week Hertfordshire Practical Parenting Programme celebrated a successful year, and invited me to join them for a reception.


Sandra Ashley, Director (second left), Carole Hassell (right), Geoff Ogden from the Management Team and Carol Lewis (left ), pictured above, were joined by local councilors, Chris Mitchell, Paul Seeby, John Barfoot ,  the Broxbourne MP Charles Walker. Dunston Patterson from the Youth Justice Board, and representatives from the local Parks Department and police were also present. Continue reading

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Changing the DV definition: the debate continues

My attention was drawn this week to the recently released Home Office Guidance, Information for Local Areas on the change to the definition of Domestic Violence and Abuse. Produced in partnership with AVA, the guidance contains a whole section on Child to Parent Violence and calls specifically for the support of local groups working with families experiencing parent abuse, and the training of domestic violence workers in their work with this form of family violence.

At the same time, I received some comments from Anne-Marie Harris, Senior Development Adviser for Effective Practice with the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, addressing the extension of the definition and drawing attention again to the need to exercise caution in the way these developments are carried forward. These are reproduced here and are particularly pertinent in the light of the guidance issued. Continue reading

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