Saturday, 1 February 2020

Policing Childhood Challenging Violent and Aggressive Behaviour April 2020

Back in 2015 in a fit of pique in blurted out a snippy frustrated blog about our experience of trying to get some real world practical help from our local post adoption support team for us as a family as we tried to parent a child that sometimes struggled to contain their inner world. It would spill in to challenging behaviour and sometimes violence.

We were lost, we wanted help, we didn't get it.

The blog snowballed (You can read it here) and within minutes messages and comments from families poured in and kept coming for the days the followed.  People sharing their experiences, their fears and more often than not their frustration at the lack of help and awareness from professionals. It was humbling and shocking in equal measure and I just kept talking, to the DfE, to social workers and to other adoptive parents. As I've talked I see that his is not an 'adoption' issue but an issue that impact on all families of all type and variety but there are themes and patterns.

From the early days of me seeing it as an adoption issue the scale and nature of the challenges faced beyond this community dwarf my initial concerns. Special guardians, kinship care, domestic violence (in all it's connotations) early adversity and trauma, ASD, ADHD, LD all play into children's perceptions of themselves, the world they live in and the people in it and consequently their capacity and ability to regulate and control their behaviour. The need is often hidden behind adult shame and fear of blame, isolation, anxiety and fear of professional's views.

Our family story has inevitably moved on but I never thought an angry blog would set me on a journey that has led me to meet some amazing professionals and parents/carers as well as opportunities not only in the UK but beyond. More importantly it connected me with Dr Wendy Thorley who helped me release a survey then wrote up the findings in an array of places (see here) I may be boring you now so I'll cut to it.

A few years ago I spoke at a thing and that led to the Dr and I chatting to a few police officers who wanted to do more and help. We made some plans and in April this year we're looking to share the findings of almost a years police call outs to homes where adults have called 999 because they're frightened of their children's behaviour and need help. It feels like a step change for me and we're looking at a range of issues with those that work at the sharp end as well as looking at the experience of those living this life.

Things are changing, I see more light being shone on this issue than ever before and the shame and isolation are being driven back, options and support for families is more available than ever. You may not be able to come to this event but perhaps you could share the flyer and get the right people there. If you want to come you can book here there are also plans afoot to hold a similar conference in North London in the early summer.

Many thanks.

1 comment:

  1. It really is amazing how this has all come together. Hoping the April date goes well and certainly looking forward to hearing more about a re-run in the south in the summer. Thank you for all you have done. To have done it while also experiencing your own family struggles as well is way beyond the call of duty!