So, here it is the Policing Childhood Challenging Violent or Aggressive Behaviour:
Responding to Vulnerable Families report. You can read the Executive Summary here with the full report being available on the 27th April.
It’s taken some time and right from the off I need to thank Dr Wendy Thorley for all the work that she has done, not only in liaising, organising, chivvying along different folks (mainly me) but in also crunching the data and writing the report up. The report draws on Northumbria Police’s 500+ call outs from parents and carers over a 9 month period in crisis due to the violent and aggressive behaviour of the children in their homes.
The report builds on what is a steadily growing body of research that considers the underlying issues that impact on children who display extreme aggressive and violent behaviour. For us that culminated in the 2018 Child on Parent Violence and Aggression Survey but in this report we worked in partnership with the police to consider the current interventions they undertake and how to improve them.
During this process I’ve been given access to records and though I thought I’d become hardened to the challenges that children and families face I confess to being rendered speechless reading some of the incident reports. Stories of incredibly vulnerable children, their mental ill health, SEND, adversity, trauma, substance misuse and more all playing out in homes across the region.
I'll not pre empt your reading of the findings, however that the report was written offers me hope for the future of this issue. We measure what matters and this is an issue that matters for many families, for every police call out there are multiple incidents that don't reach the extreme of a 999 call hidden in a veil of silence. There are many untold stories of families struggling under fear of social care intervention, fear of violence, isolation, shame and mental ill health. This report is not the end of the issue but it is another light shining into a dark room of many families lives.
You can read the summary to the report here