I posted on my Facebook page recently:
"Children’s violent and aggressive behaviour in the home towards the adults and families that love them remains defiantly illusive to simple reductive descriptions (CPA, CPVA, APVA, CCVAB, APV).
The risks for the behaviour are found at the intersection of children's life experience, biology and the systems the children inhabit and are influenced by (Family, parents, school, community). Regardless, as children they are vulnerable but this does not reduce the impact of the behaviour on adults and families and the potential to make those families vulnerable themselves.
No community has a monopoly on this behaviour the factors are present in the richest and poorest families, original and adoptive/SGO/Foster homes."
I posted in part to reflect that despite the exponential growth in awareness that has occurred over the last five years there's still a way to go. I also posted to show how rather smart I am having read about it and thought about it for years*. The developed understanding of what the underlying risks are and the impacts on the families is hugely important but a question was raised in the comment section.
I initially took a little umbrage at the point but it's well made and essential. Knowing and understanding the phenomena is great but it has to be translated into action. Many people have spent a lot of time banging that drum and it is essential to keep the message on the agenda but families need help. Of course, it's encouraging to see small charities and specific interventions developing that are focused on supporting families and raising awareness. They seem to be doing a great job but they are pinpricks by comparison to the need, we have to see statutory services take this issue head on, to develop the knowledge and skills across the children and family workforce and consequently be able to offer focused and effective interventions to families.
A few days after I posted I met with social work colleagues from the British Association of Social Workers. We talked about the need for information sharing and practice development, difficult issues in the context of high caseloads, competing CPD demands and not to mention a pandemic. Plans were made and another piece of the jigsaw is put in place. We need to get this stuff right and I've spoken to many professionals from a range of services and I can be clear our language and definitions matter, our base line understanding matters and in the face of the rise in awareness we need to safeguard the focus on the welfare of children and adults. We need to develop effective and informed practice that understands the nuances of power dynamics and systemic issues within homes. We need to be frank.
All that said the challenges that families, children and adults, face must remain the driving force behind change.
*any fool can patch together some stuff they've read.