Building Respectful Families

Child on Parent Violence (CPV) is an hidden issue facing many families, and one that needs a robust intervention. In partnership with the Youth Justice Service, Oxford City Council, Early Intervention Service and Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse services, SAFE! has developed and delivered a group work programme called Building Respectful Families. The pilot, which started in April 2015, is based on Break4Change model developed in Brighton, and has been evaluated by the University of Bedfordshire. The programme runs three times a year and is funded by Children in Need.

What is Child on Parent Violence?

CPV is any behaviour used by a young person to control, dominate or coerce parents.  It is intended to threaten and intimidate and puts family safety at risk.  Whilst it is normal for adolescents to demonstrate healthy anger, conflict, frustration and to test boundaries during their transition from childhood to adulthood, anger should not be confused with violence.  Violence is about a range of behaviours including non-physical acts aimed at achieving on going control over another person by instilling fear.

Most abused parents have difficulty admitting even to themselves that their child is abusive. They feel ashamed, disappointed and humiliated and blame themselves for the situation, which has led to this imbalance of power.  There is also an element of denial where parents convince themselves that their son or daughter’s behaviour is part of normal adolescent conduct.

Building Respectful Families

Building Respectful Families has a clear process of referral and assessment for the family, part of which is that the referring agency remain involved and maintain support with the family. Key factors in attending the programme are that families are motivated to change the current situation, seeking to find their own resolutions and move to a more respectful way of interacting with each other.  Building Respectful Families is a solution based, family focused, brief intervention rather than a parenting or anger management programme.

The Programme:

The programme has two parallel groups meeting simultaneously one evening a week for 10 weeks from 6-8pm; one for young people who are using abusive behaviours and one for the parent/ carers. Each group has two facilitators and an observer. We can accommodate up to ten families on each 10 week programme.

The Parent’s Group is delivered using a combination of facilitator led learning, group discussion and tasks related to set topics.

The Young People’s Group is delivered with the first hour of the session being facilitator led learning, with discussions around set topics. The second hour, after a break is a Creative Hour, which has several functions. The aims are to help the young people relax, to reflect on their learning and assist them to embed new thoughts, ideas and strategies.

The groups are linked by the Restorative Element, based on a film dialogue between the groups. This offers each parent and each young person to hear the voices of their family member and to be heard.

All facilitators, observers and creative workers have a professional background, are DBS checked and trained to deliver the materials.

For more information please contact:

Ruth Donaldson
Building Respectful Families Coordinator

Email: ruth.donaldson@safeproject.org.uk Tel: 01865 582495| Mob: 07419374271