Child to Parent Violence in adoptive and foster families


23 November

Resource for London, N7


Helen Bonnick from blog
Helen Bonnick
Holes in the Wall
Simon Retford
Dr Simon Retford
Greater Manchester Police
Amanda Boorman
Amanda Boorman
Lee Hollins
Sue Hughes
Family Futures
We are Family
We are Family
Joe Lettieri head crop
Joe Lettieri
Al Coates
Al Coates
Adoptive father & Social Worker


November 23, 2017 - 10:00 am


November 23, 2017 - 3:45 pm


Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA   View map

Helen Bonnick Logo
Securicare logo

Child to Parent Violence (CPV) affects all types of family, but appears to be disproportionately present in adoptive and foster families. There are reasons for this higher prevalence, but concerns centre on the lack of detailed understanding of the issue, and the deficit of support, from most mainstream services. The impact of CPV on the whole family – including other siblings – can be devastating, and can lead to placement and family breakdowns.

Many children who become Looked After Children are traumatised before they enter care. Others may be in happy families where they are attached to parents and siblings, but unforseen circumstances result in one or all of the children being taken into care. In such cases, children may lay blame at the door of social services and the foster or adoptive parents who care for them. Trauma and attachment issues may be made yet more complex by learning difficulties or disabilities and mental health problems.

Not all foster and adoptive parents experience CPV. However, adoption and fostering services often do not adequately explain to potential foster carers or adopters that CPV may be an issue for them, and do not offer adequate support for parents who do experience CPV. In the absence of prior planning, adoptive and foster parents are often unwilling to report their child, both because they feel it reflects on their parenting skills, but also because they fear it will label their child.

Generalisations surrounding CPV can make it more difficult to tackle. The most common profile is a male teenager showing aggression towards a mother. In reality, much CPV begins at primary school age or earlier, and many fathers are victims.

Research suggests that, where help is sought, foster and adoptive parents report their concerns to four main agencies: social services, their child’s school, their GP, and the police. It is therefore essential that professionals within these services, and a range of others, understand the nature of CPV, its impact on the mental health of all family members, and the role it plays in family crisis and placement breakdown.

This conference will:

  • Consider the nature of CPV, and its impact on the whole family in the short and long term
  • Highlight the importance of a definition of CPV, the extent to which ‘intent’ to harm is a necessary factor, and the impact of trauma and attachment issues
  • Reflect on how different professions are constrained by inadequate guidelines and legal framework
  • Hear from adoptive and foster parents to understand the nature of their experiences, both with their children and with statutory and other services
  • Challenge myths and generalisations
  • Look at the role of the police in coping with CPV
  • Consider how schools are impacted by, and can assist in addressing, CPV
  • Hear from two other services which address CPV in different ways:
    • using a holistic approach based upon psychological approaches to traumatised children
    • safe interventions and risk management where a young person’s behaviour is very challenging

Agenda (subject to change)

9.30 – 10.00

Registration and coffee

10.00 – 10.15

Welcome and introduction from the chair
Helen Bonnick, Author of Holes in the Wall blog

10.15 – 10.45

The long term implications of CPV on adopted/fostered children, the family and beyond

Jo Sharpen, AVA

10.45– 11.15

The need for something more: assessing the limits of mainstream interventions for traumatised children
Al Coates, Social Worker and adoptive father

11.15 – 11.25

Open forum

11.25 – 11.50


11.50 – 12.20

How the law fits in: legal factors and the role of the police

Dr Simon Retford, Detective Superintendent, Director of Intelligence, Specialist Protective Services, Greater Manchester Police

12.20 – 12.50

Why school can be a good place to start
Joe Lettieri, Manager, PAARS

12.50 – 1.00

Open forum

1.00 – 2.00


2.00 – 2.45

(including Q&A)

Parenting from Back to Front: intensive post placement support for traumatised children using Neuro Physiological Psychotherapy

Sue Hughes, Social Worker, Integrative Child Psychotherapist and Consultant Practitoner, Family Futures

We are Family (name to be advised)

2.45 – 3.30

(including Q&A)

Safe intervention: options when nothing else seems to work

Amanda Boorman, The Open Nest

Lee Hollins, Securicare

3.30 – 3.45

Open forum with panel of speakers


Close of conference

  • Fostering and adoption agencies
  • Organisations supporting foster carers and adoptive parents
  • Children’s social workers
  • Family assessment centres
  • Family support services
  • Counselling services
  • Sure Start Children’s Centres
  • Social housing services
  • GP surgeries, health visitors, and other community health services
  • Domestic abuse services
  • Services offering health, support and advice to women
  • Children and young people’s mental health services
  • Schools – both primary and secondary
  • Police
  • Law Centres
  • Citizens Advice Bureaux
  • Youth Offending Services
  • Other services for young people
  • Children’s charities

The conference will take place in Holloway, London:

Resource For London
356 Holloway Road
N7 6PA
5 minutes from Holloway Road underground station (Piccadilly Line)

 For public transport information, go to this link:


Due to a lack of public car parking in the area, the use of public transport is strongly encouraged.

If you are a blue badge holder, please contact us on 0115 916 3104.


Details of nearby accommodation will be provided with confirmation of booking.


Delegate fees:

Standard rate –  £140 + VAT

Reduced rate – £100 + VAT (limited number for small independent community organisations only. This doesn’t include local branches of National organisations.)

*Team of 3 delegates – third place half price (total £350+VAT)

*Team of 5 delegates –  fifth place free (total £560+VAT)

Booking Terms and Conditions

Cancellations received up to and including 2nd November 2017 will be refunded in full less an administration fee of 25%. Cancellations received after this date will be liable for payment in full.

*Team bookings are non-cancellable, but substitute delegates will always be accepted

The full invoice amount will remain payable if you fail to attend the event, however, substitute delegates will be accepted up until, and including, the day of the event.


Confirmation of booking:

Your booking will be confirmed by email where possible (and by fax or post otherwise), and you will be provided with directions to the venue and details on nearby hotel accommodation. If you do not receive such acknowledgement, please contact Central Conference Consultants Ltd on 0115 916 3104.