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Issue:- 04 November 2010

 Growing levels of concern from parents and carers experiencing aggression from their children

A new report from Parentline Plus reveals that a growing number of families are seriously concerned about their child's aggressive behaviour and specifically, their direct experience of physical violence and verbal abuse at the hands of their children. The report, When Family Life Hurts: Family experience of aggression calls for greater recognition and understanding of the type of support that embattled families need. The report highlights clear evidence that parenting support interventions are highly effective in turning escalating problems around and improving the wellbeing of both child and parent.

Over a 2 year period between June 2008 and June 2010, of the 83,469 calls made, 27% of callers were seeking advice from the charity’s helpline regarding their children’s behaviour with parents frequently reporting feelings of desperation, helplessness and shame:-

► Aggression and reporting of child-on-parent verbal and physical abuse is steadily increasing in number and intensity

► Of the total calls relating to child behaviour, 62% of callers were seeking advice about their child’s verbal aggression and 31% concerned physical aggression

► 88% of the callers concerned about their child’s aggressive behaviour were concerned about the aggression within the home environment

► Where aggression was the main feature of the call to Parentline Plus, children were more likely to have emotional problems, poor wellbeing and/or mental health problems including depression, hyperactive, to self-harm, and low self-esteem. Parents calling about their child’s behaviour were also more likely than other callers to report poor mental health, including diagnosed depression, anxiety and stress

► Mothers appear to take the brunt of their children’s aggressive behaviour, although it affects all family members

► Contrary to public perception, the issue of parent’s experiencing aggression from their children crosses the gender divide. Boys and girls appear to be physically and verbally aggressive, in similar numbers, although boys are more likely to be physically aggressive

► Aggressive behaviour is more likely to be acted out at home than at school or in other public places

► Aggressive behaviour is reported in children of all ages, but peaks in children aged between 13 and 15 years old

► Aggressive behaviour was also linked to higher incidences of involvement with the youth justice system, gang and weapon carrying, smoking, anti-social behaviour and children wanting to leave home

Parentline Plus identifies a series of key research findings to demonstrate the need for effective parenting interventions:

► Serious and enduring childhood aggression can often be associated with conduct problems. Conduct disorders are the most common form of mental health related problems in children. Other factors include family conflict, divorce and separation and parental mental health

► There is a strong link with conduct disorder and poor parental mental health, deprivation and other risky behaviours such as drug taking

► Parentline Plus’s users report a significant unmet need in terms of statutory provision for these children and families. Independent research indicates that 60-70% of families with children and adolescents who experience clinically significant mental health problems have not been offered evidence based interventions early enough to prevent longer lasting negative impacts across their lives.

· Not intervening at the right time in the right way is at a huge cost in terms of wasted lives, educational attainment, criminal justice costs and other social and economic cost. The lifetime costs to wider society of the children diagnosed with conduct disorder or conduct problems has been estimated at around 60 billion a year.

Jeremy Todd, Chief Executive, Parentline Plus says:- "The issue of children’s aggression, abuse and violence towards parents and other family members is a serious one and appears from Parentline Plus’s data to be a growing area of concern.   While aggressive outbursts are a normal part of a child’s development, many of the families we are in contact with are dealing with much more serious and entrenched problems.  Families who find themselves unable to cope with and manage their child’s physically or verbally aggressive behaviour need a range of advice and support.  The stigma attached to abuse can prevent families from seeking help early, preventing the problem from spiralling out of control. We urge all parents and families who are battling with serious behavioural problems to seek support, for the sake of their children and their own wellbeing. Families looking for support can call Parentline Plus at any time of the day or night. We are concerned that there is a significant unmet need in terms of statutory support in this area.  Children with, or at risk of developing, more serious problems such as conduct disorders, need the right intervention at the earliest available opportunity, otherwise the cost to the child and the family is a grave and tragic one, but it is one that is avoidable if the right support is made available."

Parentline Plus is not alone in identifying aggressive behaviour as a growing area of concern. Young Minds, a charity supporting families experiencing mental health problems report similar concerns.

Daphne Joseph, YoungMinds Parents Helpline Manager says:- “Aggressive behaviour is often a symptom of either emotional or mental health problems and so getting help early through resources such as Parentline Plus and the YoungMinds parents helpline is vital.

Calls about managing disruptive and aggressive behaviour are the most common concerns we hear. A quarter of these are about young people who are violent towards their parents. Parents can often feel desperate and ashamed about their son or daughters aggressive behaviour, so anonymous, professional advice from a helpline is much sought after.

Getting help early can prevent problems from developing into long term serious conditions. Not only improving the futures of our young people but saving millions of pounds in terms of future costs to the NHS, social services and the criminal justice system.”

Parents concerned about verbal or physical abuse from their children can call the free Parentline Plus 24 hour helpline, Parentline on:- 0808 800 2222, or via email for a personalised reply within 3 days.

Youth leaders celebrate triumph at CVQO’s graduation ceremony

VOLUNTEERING youth leaders Claire Edgerton, from St Helens, Edwin Powell, of Prescot, and Kevin Rodgers, from Whilston were recognised and rewarded for their community based learning achievements by educational charity CVQO on Friday (29 Oct).

Admiral the Right Honourable Lord West of Spithead presented Claire with the Licentiateship Award in Youth Leadership and Training, Kevin with the Graduateship in Youth Management and Training, and Edwin with the Membership in Strategic Youth Management at the annual CVQO graduation ceremony. The event was held at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, in the presence of colleagues, families and dignitaries.

Each graduate was presented with a City and Guilds accredited senior award in youth management and training. These awards are comparable to A Level, degree or higher qualifications, achieved through tireless volunteer work with the nation’s youth in organisations such as the air, sea and army cadets. Successful completion of these awards recognises at least five years of volunteering, professional development and youth management experience.

CVQO’s Chief Executive Edward Woods, said:- “Each year, I am so pleased to witness the success of our volunteers. Every individual graduating here today has given up weeks, months and years of spare time to work with and for young people. They squeeze a demanding timetable into already busy lives filled with full-time employment and dependent families. I would like to congratulate everyone on behalf of CVQO for their hard work and deeply deserved success.”

Kevin and Edwin both volunteer with sea cadets in the North West, and Kevin’s ‘day job’ also involves work with young people. He is employed as the Northwest Regional Training and Development Co-ordinator, as well as the Expedition Co-ordinator for Cumbria, with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award organisation. Claire works with army cadets i n Merseyside.

As a leading provider of practical and alternative education, CVQO believes that lifelong learning is a priority and that years of selfless volunteering with the nation’s young people should be properly acknowledged. The awards administered by the charity reflect the hard work put in and the expertise developed by these leaders, giving each graduate key skills that can be recognised and applied in the workplace.

Through current fundraising activities, CVQO aims to offer opportunities to more members of the country’s youth organisations, making a recognised and more broadly based education an achievable goal for more young people and their leaders.

Inspirational designs are on the button

A Southport-based design student who took her inspiration from 1940s and 1950s clothing has won 1st prize in the Textile Society’s annual bursary awards.

Julie James-Turner, studying for an MA in Surface Pattern Design at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) produced eye-catching garments using recycled collars and buttons to win the £1000 first prize. She was competing against students from universities across the UK.

Julie explained that her work reflects aspects of femininity that takes its influence from women’s clothing of the 1940s and 50s. “I am very interested in women’s clothes and female identity from that era. My work aims to create outfits that capture the glamorous essence of the 1950s by reinterpreting utility clothing. The aim is to transform the ordinary, mundane garment into something beautiful.”

Lynn Broster, Vice Chair, Bursaries/Awards at the Textile Society, said:- “This year the students were judged and presented at the Textile Society Antique Textile Fair in London. This was a new format and enabled the students to showcase their work to the general public, as well as to the judges. The students seemed to enjoy the interaction with the questioning public, which seemed to give them food for thought for future projects.  The judges were impressed with Julie James-Turner’s infectious enthusiasm for her work, which offered a combination of historical research with a modern interpretation through laser cutting. Her concept reusing pieces such as collars and buttons also brought a fresh approach through collage to the much discussed issue of recycling.” 

Julie continued:- “I took time out of education to bring up my children which gave me plenty of thinking time to develop my ideas. UCLan lecturing staff have encouraged me all the way and access to the University’s unique design archive has been really useful. The prize money will be extremely helpful and in the future I’d love to start my own clothing deign business.”

Later this month Julie will show her work at the Textile Society AGM, she is to write about her designs in the Society’s journal and in March 2011 will present her ideas at the next Textile Society Antique Fair.

Fishing madness threatens food treats

PIZZA eaters who like a tasty tiny fish on top of their melted cheese look set to be able to enjoy the flavour for a while longer.

Proposed EU curbs on the size of the anchovy catch have been warmly welcomed by Euro-MP Chris Davies.  But he has warned that Spanish fishermen are campaigning to have them weakened in ways that he believes threatens the future of stocks.

The major anchovy fishery in the Bay of Biscay has been closed for 5 years because of fears that it faced complete collapse. Scientists now claim that it can be safely re-opened so long as no more than 30% of the fish are caught in any 1 year.

An attempt by Spanish and French MEPs to raise fish catches to unsustainable levels was been beaten off in a key European Parliament committee by just two votes.

Chris Davies, who is campaigning for major reform to the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, fears that the battle indicates the size of the challenge ahead.  The Liberal Democrat MEP said:- “Many politicians still insist on putting the short term interests of fishermen before the need to guarantee fish stocks for the long term.  Unless we secure change, there will be no more fish left in our seas.”

Fishery collapse happens when so many fish are caught that they cannot recover by breeding.

The most dramatic recent example occurred in the North Atlantic when the cod fishery of the Grand Banks was closed in 1992 due to fish stocks falling to 1% of their original level.  The fishery has still not recovered 18 years later.

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