RELATED CHAPTERDomestic Violence and Abuse Procedure
There is currently no legal definition of adolescent to parent violence and abuse however it may be referred to as: Adolescent to parent violence and abuse (APVA) 'adolescent to parent violence (APV)' 'adolescent violence in the home (AVITH)', 'parent abuse', 'child to parent abuse', 'child to parent violence (CPV)', or 'battered parent syndrome'.
The cross-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. While this definition applies to those aged 16 or above, APVA can equally involve children under 16, and the advice in this document reflects this.
It is important to recognise that APVA is likely to involve a pattern of behaviour. This can include physical violence from an adolescent towards a parent and a number of different types of abusive behaviours, including damage to property, emotional abuse, and economic/financial abuse. Violence and abuse can occur together or separately. Abusive behaviours can encompass, but are not limited to, humiliating language and threats, belittling a parent, damage to property and stealing from a parent and heightened sexualised behaviours. Patterns of coercive control are often seen in cases of APVA, but some families might experience episodes of explosive physical violence from their adolescent with fewer controlling, abusive behaviours. Although practitioners may be required to respond to a single incident of APVA, it is important to gain an understanding of the pattern of behaviour behind an incident and the history of the relationship between the young person and the parent.
There are specific factors to consider when working with young people who are involved in adolescent to parent abuse:
It is important that a young person using abusive behaviour against a parent receives an appropriate safeguarding response as well as the victim.
Young people may need support from a wide range of local agencies. Where a young person could benefit from coordinated support from more than one agency (e.g. education, health, social care, and police) there should be an inter-agency assessment. These early assessments (such as the use of the early help assessment (EHA)) should identify what help the young person requires to prevent their needs and behaviour escalating to a point where intervention would be needed via a statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989.
A RIC Screening Tool has been developed to help your assessment.
Where adolescent to parent abuse involves a victim who meets the Care Act safeguarding adults definition i.e.
A person who:
Adult Safeguarding procedures should be followed. This will allow multi agency information to be gathered, a shared risk assessment to be collated and a safety plan agreed for the family.
As part of the adult safeguarding procedures, a strategy meeting will be convened to which all interested parties will be invited. Children's services will be integral to this meeting and it will be expected that where the child has an allocated worker from children's social care, then that worker will be in attendance. Where the case is not previously known to children's social care, the Senior Practitioner or Team Manager for the area in which the child lives will attend so that the meeting can benefit from local service knowledge.
Working Together states that whenever there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm, there should be a strategy discussion involving the local authority Children's Social Care (Social Worker and their Manager), the Police, Health and other such relevant bodies, such as the referring agency. This may take the form of a multi-agency strategy meeting or telephone calls. The Strategy Meeting must take place within two working days of the identification of the significant harm concerns.
The Strategy Discussion/Meeting must include adult care representation.
The Strategy Discussion/Meeting should decide as to whether the threshold is met to initiate a Section 47 child protection enquiry and a Child and Family assessment.
If an Initial Child Protection Conference has not been held, consideration should be given to the multi-agency Care Team completing a Vulnerability Checklist for consideration by the multi-agency Risk Management Group. This decision must take into account the age and stage of development of the child or young person (generally, children and young people under 16 would not be subject to the RMG) and be proportionate to the perceived level of risk.
As a minimum, a Child and Family assessment should be completed on all cases where there are APVA and must include the multi-agency contribution of all relevant professionals known to the family.
The Care Plan must clearly set out the immediate and longer term actions and safety plan required to safeguard and support the family, the visiting frequency; including the detail of any direct work to be undertaken with the child.
The Care Plan must also be formally reviewed 4-6 weekly by the multi-agency Care Team/Core Group with 4 weekly formal supervision from the Senior Practitioner or Team Manager. Where the plans are not progressing or the risks are increasing, the Team Manager must share and discuss this with the Senior Manager.
Safety planning is a practical process that practitioners can use with anyone affected by domestic violence and abuse. It should be a core element of working in partnership with victims and other agencies, taking into account the outcomes of risk assessment and risk management. Safety planning involves more than assessing potential future risk; it can help create psychological safety, space to recover and freedom from fear. Other members of the household's responses to questions about what they do when there is violence or abuse should be considered in safety planning. Risk assessments can assist safety planning and should aim to:
Only valid for 48hrs