Child to Parent Violence (leaflet for family members)

This chapter was added to the APPP in January 2020.

1. Introduction

Adolescent to Parent Violence (APVA) is a hidden form of domestic violence and abuse that still has no legal definition, however it is referenced within current government domestic violence literature.

1.1 Definition

The Government definition of domestic violence and abuse is ‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.’

It is important to consider that APVA is likely to involve a pattern of behaviour.

Child to Parent violence (CPVA) encompasses children of a younger age:

Child to Parent Violence is any harmful act by a child whether physical, psychological or financial which is intended to gain power and control over parent /care giver (Cottrel B Monk p 2004).

Behaviour considered to be violent if others in the family feel threatened, intimidated or controlled by child if they believe that they must adjust their own behaviour to accommodate threats or anticipation of violence (Patterson et al 2002).

It should be considered that due to there not being a government definition some organisations will categorise as APVA and some as CPVA. Within South Tyneside we will use CPVA to encompass children of a younger age range within intervention work and care pathways.

Whilst it is not unusual for adolescents and children to demonstrate healthy anger and at times there will be conflict with parents, it should be noted that there is a difference between healthy anger and violence or behaviour which instils fear in their parents or carers.

Consideration should be given at all times to the level of violence for example:

  • is the violence persistent;
  • is the violence planned and deliberate; and
  • not a reckless act.

This procedure should be read in conjunction with the Care Pathway:

1.3 Following disclosure

Once a disclosure of APVA / CPVA is made the professional should complete the CPVA risk screening tool with the parent / carer, this will indicate the level of risk posed and inform the process that should be followed within the care pathway. In all cases where risks have been identified the emergency safety plan should be implemented with parent/carer. Where CPVA involves a victim who meets the Care Act 2014 safeguarding adult’s definition, adult safeguarding procedures should be followed accordingly (see Safeguarding Adult Procedures).

Consideration should be given to other family members and the potential risks posed.

If you are worried about an adult, a referral to Adult Social Care should be considered (see Stage 1: Concerns).

2. Immediate Safeguarding Concerns

If an individual is at immediate risk of harm then police should be notified via 999, the high risk pathway should then be followed.

2.1 High risk

A referral should be made to children’s services; consent of the parent should be sought unless there are safeguarding concerns which mean that consent should be overruled (see Worried about a Child?)

Consideration will be given by children’s service regarding the threshold being met for Strategy meeting (see Strategy Meeting / Discussion, Safeguarding Children Procedures).

If the young person is over 16, a referral to MARAC by CFSC worker should be made.

Consideration should be given re referral to Impact Family Services to offer intervention to the parent.

Social worker and CPVA worker allocated to the family. The social worker should complete the assessment (see Assessment, Safeguarding Children Procedures).

2.2 Standard and medium risk

Consideration should be given to involving Early Help (see Safeguarding children: Information for Professionals, Early Help documentation).

The police should be informed via 101 of the disclosure of APVA / CPVA.

If consent is gained from the parent / carer, a referral should be made to  the Impact Family services for intervention.

A CPVA worker can be contacted for advice where standard and medium risk has been identified.

Never assume that someone else will take care of the violence / abuse issues. You should seek confirmation that other professionals / agencies have acted in a way which you would expect. You may be the parent / carers / child / young person’s first and only contact.

Remember they can deny abuse is happening and minimise the risk and / or harm.  Discuss with your line manager, assess the threshold level and act accordingly.