Grow Together project
Children and young people are the innocent victims when being subjected to domestic violence and abuse within the family. Their experiences can leave them feeling confused, unsafe and often with ambivalent feelings towards their non-abusive parent. Children and young people have often taken the role of “carer” for their non-abusive parent and need to see their parent becoming stronger and more empowered in their parenting role in order to enjoy childhood once more.
Grow Together is an 8 week course for the parents/carers of children who have lived with domestic violence and abuse within the family
Grow Together Side-by-Side
Grow Together Side-by-Side is a group programme for non-abusive parents and their children, who have experienced domestic abuse. The course is ten weeks long and involves weekly sessions of two hours during which parents and children participate in a mixture of separate and joint activities.
The course aims to increase understanding of the impact of domestic abuse and of healthy relationships, enhance coping and resilience, and improve the parent-child relationship (in part through effective communication). The course is centred on learning through a mixture of creative activities, play and discussion. It can be adapted for special circumstances e.g. child to parent abuse and older children, and on request adaptation to include other family members such as grandparents.
Key evaluation findings
Grow Together and Grow Together Side-by-Side can be commissioned.
- To understand how domestic violence affects you as a parent
- To understand the effects of domestic violence on children and young people
- To develop effective communication skills with children and young people
- Talking to children about domestic violence they have experienced
- Managing challenging behaviour
- Boundary setting
- To promote healthy and non-violent relationships
- Re-building fractured relationships between children and parents/care givers
- To explore key protective behaviour messages and strategies to keep families safe
“At the very beginning of the course I was very anxious but I began to look forward to each session and was surprised about how useful I found the course. It brought out a lot of raw emotions to the surface but it helped to put a lot of things into perspective….. They made it so much easier for me and helped me to feel strong and comfortable.”
“This course was brilliant and helped me see the situation I’m in, in a completely different light and I realise it’s not my fault and I am hoping that I can have a better relationship and understanding with my children”
“The course helped me understand how I can help and understand the children from their point of view and also how I’m dealing with my emotions can affect the children”