THERE is never an excuse for abuse.
That is the message behind a new Warrnambool-based programdedicated to parents and carers whose children and teenagers are out of control, violent or defiant.
Brophy’s Who’s in Charge?program began in April and after the increasing demand from families needing help, itwill be expanded to Corangamite and Hamilton in the new year.
Brophy Family and Youth Services child and family service worker Jacqui Murdoch said the spectrum of experience for parents and carers was broad and varied.
“You might have someone who gets verballed on a daily basis and there’s the other end of the spectrum where police attend and there’s severe violence andpeople get hurt and there’s damage to property,” she said.
Ms Murdoch said some young people’s behaviour can hold their parents and family hostage and so the family often feels they have to modify their behaviour because of thechild.
“We deal with the behaviour, so how the child arrives at the behaviour is not relevantbecause some children may come from adverse backgrounds, some might have been exposed to various traumas, some might come from the picture perfect family butnone of that actually matters –there’s no excuse for abuse,” she said.
“Despite what has happened this behaviour is not ok.”
It’s the first time the program has been rolled out in regional Victoria and was prompted afterMs Murdochand other practitioners noticed the issue becoming more prevalent.
“It was becoming apparent it was on the rise andafter speaking to other community agencies and police who were having to attend some of the homes, it was becoming a more and more prevalent issue,” she said.
Ms Murdoch and others then sourced Melbournepsychologist Eddie Gallagher who developed the program and trained Brophy staff to facilitate it.
The group parent program is held two hours each week over eight weeks.
Ms Murdoch said often people finished the program feeling empowered and confident as parents.
“Whereas when they came in they were worn down,” she said.“The idea of being assertive was just a bit too hard.There’s no excuse for abuse. When we say thatthere’s a sort of shift in people of ‘why am I tolerating this, I wouldn’t put up with this from a partner or someone who was a guest in my home, so why am I putting up with it from my 12-year-old son’.”
Ms Murdoch said the young people’s behaviour was not a result of bad parenting and people needed to know that change was possible.
For more information phone Brophy on5561 8888.
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