Support for professionals
Kildonan designs and deliverers training for professionals who work with adolescent violence in the home. The training includes support with developing programs and advice on working with parents and young people. For more information please contact Jo Howard via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a professional working with families you may come across adolescent violence in the home working in youth services, family services, family violence, schools, health settings or just about anywhere. It is important to recognise the behaviour as being serious and that it is not a parenting issue or simply a behavioural issue of the child or young person.
There can often be multiple causal factors and the violence needs to be taken seriously and the family approached in a non-judgmental manner.
Some considerations for professionals include:
Doing safety planning with parents/carers can help enhance the families’ safety and minimise potential risk.
Safety planning with families where there is adolescent violence in the home differs from safety planning with intimate partner violence for several reasons:
A basic safety plan for parents should contain information on:
As a professional you can also work with the parents to help them identify signs of their child’s anger or aggression escalating in order to put strategies in place as early as possible.
Working with the adolescent, you can also help them develop a plan to reduce the likelihood of them escalating their aggression or violence in the home.
This would entail helping the adolescent to:
As a professional, helping the families understand their options can be the most important support. The justice system can provide numerous avenues for parents and carers experiencing violence from their adolescent.
You can consult with your local youth resource officers or family violence liaison officers at your local police station if you need advice regarding a family you work with.
If a parent or carer is going through court (either through an Intervention Order or if their child has received criminal charges as a result of their violence), providing them with support at court can help ease the strong emotions and anxiety often associated. Your service may be unable to offer these supports; however, you may be able to locate an appropriate service that can do this on the day (some family violence services, court staff or support programs). Preparing parents and carers for what may happen and linking them to legal advice is also highly beneficial.
Victoria Legal Aid has a range of resources on law and court available through their website.
You may also want to order some booklets to have available to your clients.