Child to Parent Violence and Abuse Mapping Pilot Project

About the Project

Violence from young children and adolescents towards their parents is emerging as a significant form of family abuse; but while people are talking about it more, it is still difficult to find services with the expertise to support families and work towards restoring healthy family relationships. This project has been set up with the aim of mapping local services around the country, so that families, practitioners, researchers or commissioners can more easily locate help where and when they need it. Entries give basic information needed to make a referral; and will be added to all the time.

Out of hours, or if no local service is available, parents should consider calling a helpline such as Family Lives, Young Minds, the Samaritans; or, if there is danger to life, should dial 999.

How can I know that a service is safe or effective?

In the early days, as new problems come to our attention and provision emerges around them, it is inevitable that there will be questions to do with effectiveness and safety; even more so where the issue itself concerns potential violence. New understandings of human development bring new approaches and therapies. Different groups of people around the country – indeed around the world – alight on different theories and programmes and a whole range of responses appears, often with elements in common, but sometimes quite divergent.

In a rapidly evolving field, programmes do not maintain strict fidelity as new learning suggests different approaches or timescales, which in itself presents problems for those seeking to compare outcomes. Evaluation costs money, something in short supply for small independent providers responding to an immediate crisis in their area. In the meantime, however, there is usually data available from funding applications, with reference to numbers, profile and outcomes, often with testimony of those taking part; and many projects have smaller scale evaluation through university research projects. Separate work is taking place to design and develop tools for assuring quality of practice.

We cannot at this time specifically endorse any approach. This map is offered as an information resource and in order to aid the further development of work.

Sponsors and Supporters

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Against Violence & Abuse

Group Work or One to One?

To be honest, this is probably where pragmatism comes in. There are tremendous gains reported from parents attending a group programme, not least the realisation that they are not alone and the mutual support that sometimes continues way beyond the end of the sessions. Further benefits are the modelling that takes place and peer pressure to complete the programme or to commit to change. Nevertheless, in rural areas it may be too much to ask for parents to travel a great distance, or there may also be issues about work in a very small isolated community where everyone knows everyone else. Some people report that parents are more comfortable opening up in a one-to-one scenario. Certainly an individual approach offers more flexibility, the possibility of longer term work and a more bespoke service. Realistically, a group programme will often be only one part of a longer term intervention with a family. At the end of the day it may come down to whether training is available in running a particular group programme, and whether staff or facilities can be found.