Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse

What is Child on Parent Violence?

A commonly used definition of this problem is ‘any act of a child that is intended to cause physical, psychological or financial damage in order to gain control over a parent’ (Cottrell, 2001: 3) It is a pattern of behaviour or behaviours, which includes: hitting, name calling, making threats, stealing from parents (money or belongings to sell), damaging possessions and/or the physical home.

What is Break4Change Cymru?

It is a 10 session programme, using proven methods and materials, which aim to engender the belief in change and to stop or dramatically reduce the abuse. Its purpose is to help young people better manage their frustrations, help parents increase their sense of well-being, reduce their isolation, to clarify clear boundaries for unacceptable and acceptable behaviour, examine and build strategies for the future.


How does it work?

The programme works as follows:

  • The Young People’s Group
  • The Parents Group
  • These run in parallel to each other
  • Each session is 2.5 hours, and will include strategies for addressing behaviour.
  • There is a Creative Element which uses art, music or other mediums with the young people, to encourage reflection and embedding of the learning.
  • The Restorative Element uses film to build a dialogue between the groups is developed during the programme, to give each person the opportunity to have their voice heard uninterrupted and to begin to repair the harm to family relationships.


Who can be referred?

Before making a referral, please ensure that you have spoken with parents and the young person about the programme

  • Parents with young people aged between 11 & 18, where the abuse toward parents has been on-going for 6 months
  • Parents and young people who are motivated to change the situation, who are prepared to change their behaviour
  • Engagement and attendance is voluntary, consent is needed from both parents and young people.
  • The referring agent SHOULD ensure that there will be continual contact and support to the family throughout the course.


What happens next?

On receipt of the referral the APVA Coordinator will meet and assess the parent and the referring agent will assess the young person, separately. This provides a confidential space for parents and young people to talk more freely and to discover if the programme is for them. This also offers an opportunity to explore individual’s motivation, identify the levels of abuse and/or violence, and whether there is the desire to change behaviours. A decision will be made as to whether to offer of a place on the programme.