Disruption in family placement - children as victims and children as perpetrators of violence. What explains and what helps.

Location: London
Date: 18 Mar 2015

Woburn House Conference Centre
20 Tavistock Square
London WC1H 9HQ

Conference time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Closing date for booking: 13/03/2015

Booking forms:
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The publication of the University of Bristol‘s adoption disruption study (Selwyn et.al, 2014) has raised serious questions about the care and support available to adopters and adopted children and young people. One of the most dramatic themes to have emerged from the study is the part that ‘child to parent violence’ plays in adoption disruption.

There are a number of uncomfortable themes associated with ‘child to parent violence' – its development over time, the impact on the family, the unresponsiveness of agencies and the absence of adequate support. The one issue that is particularly difficult to resolve is the interaction between children and young people as victims of abuse and neglect prior to placement on the one hand, but then appearing as perpetrators of violence following placement. While we set as a priority the need to protect, nurture and care for these children, we may recoil in horror and react to the reality and immediacy of the threat they come to pose in their violence and out of control behaviour?

These are not new issues. Disruption and the causes of disruption are very familiar to anybody involved in family placement. ‘Child to parent violence’ is a recognisable theme whether the placement is foster care, special guardianship or indeed children living at home with their parents. How we come to name the issues can draw on a wide range of explanations and concepts – attachment disorder, emotional and behavioural disturbance, challenging behaviour, conduct disorders or callous and unemotional traits. They are very much a part of the landscape of family placement.

Finding solutions and providing interventions may be more problematic but the exploration of schemes such as multi-dimensional treatment foster care, a wide variety of parenting programmes and now, non-violent resistance have come to play their part. However, there are no simple, single dimensional ways of addressing the complex histories for these children and their families and the interaction of factors over time.

This conference will explore the nature of ‘child to parent violence’ as an organising theme and its potential for escalation into serious threats to both the child, their carers, other family members and others. What do we know about the developmental histories of these young people that result in such challenging issues? How should we be developing our placement support services? What is the role of CAMHS? Is there as yet a reliable evidence base for effective interventions?


  • Peter Sandiford, Chief Executive Officer, PAC-UK


  • Professor Nina Biehal, Research Director for the Social Work (Children and Young People) Research Group, Social Policy Research Unit, University of York
  • Shila Desai, Specialist Systemic Therapist, Partnership Projects UK Ltd
  • Sally Donovan, Adoptive Parent
  • Peter Fuggle, Head of Programme for Clinical Services, CYP IAPT Programme Director and Co-Lead, Anna Freud Centre
  • Nicola Maund, Specialist Systemic Therapist, Partnership Projects UK Ltd
  • Sarah Meakings, University of Bristol
  • Joanna Pearse, Consultant Systemic Psychotherapist, Family First Team Manager/FFT National Consultant, Family First Team, Brighton and Hove Youth Offending Service

Who should attend
Adoption, fostering, child care, family support and looked after children teams, managers, adoptive parents, foster carers, special guardians, CAFCASS children’s guardians, social workers and health professionals in family placement including those who plan for and make decisions.

Fees* (for early booking rate book before 12 February 2015 – limited places)

Full or associate BAAF member:
Early booking rate £155 + £31 VAT total: £186.00
Standard rate £185 + £37 VAT total: £222.00

Individual BAAF member or student:
Early booking rate £105 + £21 VAT total: £126.00
Standard rate £135 + £27 VAT total: £162.00

Adoptive parent or foster carer:
Standard rate £105 + £21 VAT total: £126.00

Non member: £250 + £50 VAT total: £300.00

*Concessions for care leavers and adopted young people available by negotiation.

Contact details

Email: conferences@baaf.org.uk
Telephone: 020 7421 2640/2637
Fax: 020 7421 2601