Social worker and practice educator who specialises in child to parent violence and abuse. Her website Holes in the Wall brings together information, research and resources about this form of abuse for parents and professionals. She is the author of Child to Parent Violence and Abuse: a practitioners guide to working with families, Pavilion Publishing, 2019.
What is child to parent violence and abuse (CPVA) and how can we support families in this situation?
Join us in an interactive webinar to explore the topic in details and learn methods to deal with it as a professional.
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Just as practitioners are only now learning about CPVA. Families seeking help may talk about not being able to get a child to school, about feeling depressed or exhausted by their home situation, about their child being out of control. They may have bruising or other injuries. Schools may identify children with behaviour issues. The police may be concerned about young people being vulnerable to exploitation or involved in anti-social behaviour. In all of these situations, there may also be violence and abuse from a child to their parent, but we may not know about it.
Parents have said that the most important thing for them is that when they ask for help someone listens to them and takes them seriously. Wherever the help comes from, there are several common features:
- Naming the abuse
- Working towards the child taking responsibility for their actions
- Building a supportive network for the parents
- Prioritising things to change
- Learning ways to de-escalate confrontations in the home
- Understanding the other issues involved and providing support for these as well.
The aim of the support is to restore positive and healthy family relationships and to keep everyone safe. Families generally want to stay together. Help early on can stop things getting worse, but there may be some situations where children’s needs are very complex, or the relationship has broken down so badly that separation is needed for the health and safety of all. Many programmes of help now have evidence to show they are effective. They are being used within youth justice, within children’s social care services, mental health services, domestic abuse agencies, education, and sometimes agencies which just work with CPVA; but of real importance is that agencies also work together to understand the whole situation and to address all the needs the family has.
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