NYSCP Child Adolescence to Parent Violence and Abuse (CAPVA) - North Yorkshire

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Child Adolescence to Parent Violence and Abuse (CAPVA)

Child Adolescence to Parent Violence and Abuse (CAPVA) – One Minute Guide

What is CAPVA

There is no legal definition of child or adolescent to parent violence and abuse, however, it is increasingly recognised as a form of domestic abuse and depending on the age of the child, it may fall under the government’s official definition of domestic violence and abuse.  The definition of Domestic Abuse in the UK, introduced by the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 is:

Behaviour of a person (A) towards another person (B) is domestic abuse if – A and B are personally connected to each other and the behaviour is abusive. Behaviour is ‘abusive’ if it consists of any of the following: Physical or sexual abuse, violent/threatening behaviour, controlling or coercive behaviour, economic abuse, psychological, emotional or other abuse.

It does not matter if the behaviour consists of a single incident or a course of conduct and applies to any person’s aged 16 or above.

However, whilst this definition applies to those aged 16 years or above, CAPVA can equally involve children aged under 16 years.

It is important to recognise that CAPVA is likely to involve a pattern of behaviour. This can include physical violence from a child towards a parent and can include a number of different types of abusive behaviours including damage to property, emotional abuse, and economic/financial abuse. Violence and abuse can occur together or separately.

Although practitioners may be required to respond to a single incident of CAPVA, it is important to gain an understanding of the pattern of behaviour behind an incident and the history of the relationship between the young person and the parent. This pattern of behaviour creates an environment where a parent lives in fear of their child and often curtails their own behaviour in order to avoid conflict, contain or minimise violence and/or abuse.

Key Principles

  • Parents report feelings of isolation, guilt and shame surrounding their child’s violence or abuse towards them, and fear that their parenting skills may be questioned, and they will be blamed or disbelieved by those to whom they disclose the violence and/or abuse.
  • Parents may be reluctant to disclose or request support for fear of the response from agencies. Concerned that their child may get into trouble, get a criminal record, they will be deemed a ‘poor’ parent or that their children will be removed from their care.
  • Unnecessary criminalisation of the young person should be avoided, though it may be necessary for the police to be involved to maintain safety.
  • There is no single explanation for CAPVA – every family is different. CAPVA can affect all areas of society. Providing the right support to families which enables the restoration of healthy, respectful family relationships should be the ultimate goal of intervention.
  • Safety planning is a key component of any response to CAPVA.
  • CAPVA is a whole family issue and can impact upon all family members. The safety of others including siblings should also be a primary component of intervention
  • Opportunities for both parents and children to talk about their experiences should be created.

Key questions to consider when working with a family where child on parent conflict and harmful behaviour has been identified.

  • How do they make you feel about yourself as a parent/person, what happened to make you feel that way?
  • Has there ever been a time they ever hurt you physically or with words or other actions?
  • Have you any worries about their friendships?
  • When was the first and last time the behaviour you’re worried about happened?
  • Can you identify any triggers?
  • What happens when the behaviour is at its worst and when was the last time it happened?
  • Has there ever been a time you have been scared of them?
  • Have you any worries about SEN/ mental health issues?
  • Do you have any worries about drugs and alcohol use?
  • Has there ever been a time when they have witnessed aggression and/or violence

Parenting Support

Below is an information sheet for families to help them understand CAPVA better and what strategies they can use to support themselves and their children/young people.

CAPVA Leaflet

The Solihull Parenting Programme has several free modules, which families may feel are helpful these include Understanding your child – Self-Regulation and Anger.  The on-line sessions include anger and children’s development, anger and independence, anger’s role in managing feelings, responding to children’s anger, anger as a response to a stressful demands.  Families just need to www.inourplace.co.uk and add the access code NYFAMILIES

There is also lots of information for parents, young people and families on YouTube.  Here is an example.

Plus information on key websites to support parents and inform staff HOLES IN THE WALL | documenting parent abuse. Useful website around domestic abuse Together we can end domestic abuse & sexual violence (uksaysnomore.org)

Specialist Support in North Yorkshire

The Respect Programme has been specially developed for families across North Yorkshire where there is child or adolescent to parent violence and abuse from children who are between 10 and 18 years. It is a voluntary programme for families who would like to work to gain positive change within the family. As part of the programme, IDAS children and young people’s practitioners work with the parents and children in structured sessions to offer support, insight, and some simple targeted solutions to help improve the family relationships and dynamics. The sessions focus on parenting styles and anger management techniques that the whole family can employ.

The programme is typically provided over three months and the team recognises that every member of the family is a part of the solution and that by working together they can develop a more harmonious home.

Referral via the IDAS website:  https://idas.org.uk/make-a-referral/

Restorative Academy

Parents often need support early when their children/young people are displaying aggressive and harmful behaviours towards them which causes conflict within their relationships and adds further pressures and challenges. Early intervention can help to rebuild and repair the family relationship through listening and acknowledging the issues both for parents and children/young people by taking a whole family approach in responding to the problem. 

Where child or adolescent to parent violence and abuse is identified within the assessment process, workers across C&F Service can refer to the Restorative Academy for support for the child/ young person.

It is important that workers continue to support and work directly with parents.  A Restorative Practice Young People’s Worker will be allocated to work one to one with the young person. All family members will be bought together for a Restorative Meeting to discuss escalation cycles, patterns of behaviour and restorative/solution focused strategies to improve the communication between parents and their children/young people to ensure positive outcomes

Additional Resources:

CAPVA | Respect


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