Bear with me as I lay out some strands of thought.
The conversation in relation to Child on Parent Violence is continuing, it a slippery thing that impacts many families. I'm quite convinced that there are no simple, easy or universal solutions. I'm spending time talking to lots of people about the causes and impacts but it's solutions the people want. Of course that's what we all want.
So, as we raise awareness but I can't help wonder what the end game is. I don't believe we can irradiate the phenomena but what we can control is our response, when I say 'our' I'm speaking as a social worker so I mean a professional response.
I understand that if I talk about bad practice that opens me to the accusation that I'm anti professionals. I also know that if a Twitter conversation gets round to inappropriate or unhelpful things that have been said to adopters it's a thread that will go on and on. If we start one on the good things that are said it probably doesn't have the same legs and won't run as far. That's just human nature.
I'm often just saying what I see and what I'm told.
I've been pondering all of this and some days it all seems a bit beyond me.
So, I went to a meeting. You know the type, a new professional allocated and you're giving an overview of where we were at, what had been going on and how we got to where we are.
We talked about the occasional violence and the professional smiles at my child and laughs as they say:
'so, you like to chin your mam, ha ha ha?'
No hint of shame or challenge or cunning intervention, just a joke.
I wondered if that professional has any idea of what just happened in that room, I almost had an out of body experience.
Hindsight's a wonderful thing. Sat there I stopped listening to the words as I weighed my options, the impact of confronting versus the need to confront. Perhaps a formal complaint or a quiet word. What should I do? What could I do? What did I do?
Nothing, I need this professional, they're a gate keeper.
Nothing, because I'm a 'service user'
Nothing, because that's the power dynamic.
Nothing, because sometimes I just don't know what to do.
I held my tongue and sat and tried to digest what had happened and what to do. The professionals voice became a low hum as I repeated the moment, had it really happened, really?
Yes, it really happened.
That's the end of the story, just one story of many.
I'm still working out what to do, I can wait.