Building Respectful Families

The Building Respectful Families (BRF) Service is a free service for families who live within the Thames Valley and are affected by Child and Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse (CAPVA). CAPVA is “a form of family abuse where children and adolescents use a range of harmful behaviours towards parents or caregivers in an attempt to get their own way, hurt or punish, communicate distress and/or control their environment.” (Baker and Bonnick, 2021)

Please note, we are not a crisis service.

If you are concerned for your own, or someone else’s safety in an emergency, contact 999.  We know this may be an incredibly difficult decision to make if you are the parent of a child who has become violent, but this can help to diffuse situations and restore safety to the home.  Please speak to a GP or CAMHS if a young person needs help with severe emotional or mental health difficulties.  Everyone has the right to feel safe, all the time.  

How does the BRF Service support families? 

Our vision is that through BRF support families can begin to address abusive behaviours together and find their own solutions to resolve the harm caused, so that they may enjoy happier and healthier relationships.

The BRF service is rooted in restorative and trauma-informed practices and our practitioners use a protective behaviours approach with young people and their caregiver/s. 

Before starting work, we complete a full assessment with every family, in partnership with referring agencies to explore what the main issues are.   We have a specialist team of BRF practitioners who can provide tailored support through one-to-one and group-based work for young people and their caregivers/s; support for siblings also affected; and work with extended family members, if helpful.  BRF support can be in-person, online, or a mixture of both.  Support can be based where families feel safe and comfortable.  When a family is assessed for support, all these aspects will be discussed, to find the best option for each individual family member.     

Does BRF have referral criteria? 

We work with families experiencing CAPVA where young people are aged 8 to 18, and along with their caregiver/s, are living within Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, or Berkshire.   BRF is voluntary, both the caregiver and their child need to consent to work with us to be eligible for support.  Both will need to have the capacity to reflect and importantly, be motivated to try and make changes to their current situation.  

Referrals are usually made by professionals who already know the family and we ask that they remain involved, to maintain their support for the family once our support starts. BRF supports will focus on addressing the CAPVA but works best when families have support simultaneously from other services to address other needs, they may have. Families can also self-refer.  


Parent Testimony about a BRF parent support group:

"I feel this group is extremely valuable and offers a safe non-judgmental space to share thoughts and feelings.  Because I did not feel judged, I was able to really reflect on our situation in an adult way and start to make some changes which have worked and made a difference to me and my child"

Young Person Testimony about BRF support:

“I react differently now.   And my Mum tries to talk more about things. We are kinder to each other.”  

How to refer:

Please read the relevant guides if you are considering making a referral:

For a copy of our ‘Information for Referrers: BRF Guide’ click here

For our ‘Information for Families’ guide click here

If you feel a referral to BRF is appropriate, please contact the team at brf@safeproject.org.uk  to enquire about the next steps.

We also offer training to professionals through our ‘Introduction to CAPVA’ course.  This is a 3-hour interactive training session, designed to equip professionals with the knowledge, confidence, and some strategies to support families experiencing CAPVA. 

100% of delegates over the last two years said they would recommend the training to a colleague

For more information please click here training for professionals 

or contact us at brf@safeproject.org.uk  or safe@safeproject.org.uk 

For all enquiries please contact brf@safeproject.org.uk

Funded by The National Lottery Community Fund & BBC Children in Need