'Who's in Charge' Child to Parent Violence Programme - Suffolk Youth Justice Service

Summary: An overview of the 'Who's In Charge' Child to Parent Violence and Abuse programme.




  • Support parents of children and young people aged 8-18, some of whom are in the Youth Justice System, who are being violent and abusive towards parents and carers.
  • Reduce the level of violence and abuse by young people against their parents/carers
  • Reducing parental stress and anxiety, guilt and shame
  • Rebuilding family relationships - both parent to child and child to siblings
  • Improving family functionality by helping to build responsibility in children and parents




Who’s in charge is a Child/Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse (C/PVA) programme delivered to the parents/carers of children and young people aged 8-18 who exhibit aggressive or abusive behaviour within the family home. The programme is two and a half hours long each week for 9 weeks.

The programme is delivered and run by specifically trained staff and can be adapted to a multi-agency approach including Schools, Youth Justice Services (YJS), Domestic Abuse agencies, Health Teams, Children’s Services and charities such as National Society for the Prevention of Child Cruelty (NSPCC). It recognises the risks to the safety and well-being of young people, their parents and their families, when aggressive/abusive behaviour is exhibited. To this end, it seeks to reduce the abusive behaviour of young people and help to re-build family relationships.  Our work has been recognised with a can parent national quality mark by Parenting UK, part of Family Lives.



What makes it work:

  • Partnership working through a multi-agency approach
  • Works with a wide range of young people in the Youth Justice System including those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities such as Autism and Asperger’s
  • Pre and post evaluation for each programme to enable effective lessons learned approach
  • Programme uses a family based therapeutic approach



 Implementing the practice:

  • Suffolk Youth Justice Service run Who's in Charge with other partners as agreed by senior managers
  • Staff are identified via Personal Development Records and trained as facilitators for Who's in Charge
  • Staff are provided advice and guidance around referral criteria by Who's in Charge
  • Following the completion of the programme all parents are contacted by a Who's in Charge facilitator




Organisation: Ipswich Borough Council/Suffolk Youth Justice Service
Name: Carole Williams/Louise Thomas
Telephone: 01473 433 438/01473 260 110