Child to parent violence programmes

Denise Beevers, Locality Service Manager at Doncaster Council describes the ‘Child to parent violence programme’ which is available via their 12 Family Hubs.  

‘Our “Child to parent violence” programme” is delivered by one of our partners, the Doncaster Children’s Trust. The Family Hubs and partners collect names of families who are interested and, when we have a sufficient number, we look at where the majority of parents live and deliver the programme in the Family Hub which is most convenient for them. 

‘This is not the kind of programme that families come straight out and ask for – they are often very reluctant. What tends to happen is that the problem comes up when talking with someone they trust – this is essential for a parent to make this kind of disclosure. It might be to a member of staff in a Family Hub or a professional that they’re already working with, such as a teacher or a family support worker. The presenting problem might be, for example, school attendance and a teenager’s refusal to go to school. And when discussing this problem, violence is mentioned and the professional can take the lead, provide information and encourage the family to address the issue by participating in the programme. 

‘The programme is delivered after school, early evening, so that parent and child can attend together. There are two or three facilitators so that the parent and child are together for some of the time, and then divided into separate groups so that children work with one facilitator and parents with another. The main aim of the programme is to explore what’s behind the young person’s behaviour and for them to understand the impact their behaviour has on their parent. It’s quite a tough programme because although you might say it’s never acceptable for a child to be violent, sometimes what that child has experienced has had an impact on the way that they treat their parent. Then the parent starts to think about whether their behaviour in the past has influenced the way their child behaves. It’s a tough programme but is well worthwhile.’