Covenant to help firms support victims of Child to Parent Abuse

The Department for Work and Pensions and not-for-profit charity PEGS partnered to create the covenant

A new national covenant will provide employers with support to help parents abused by their children, also known as ‘Child to Parent Abuse’ (CPA).

The CPA Covenant

PEGS, a non-profit organisation supporting affected families, has partnered with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to create the CPA Covenant. The Covenant is free for employers to sign and will help them support affected staff via introductory training, resources, and policies and practices development.

The aim of the partnership, according to PEGS’ Founding Director Michelle John, is to ensure employers include the CPA Covenant in their policies and practices around domestic abuse and raise awareness of CPA in UK workplaces.

Organisations that sign up will have access to a free exclusive one-hour webinar with John, covering “the basics of CPA and ideas of how they can begin to implement CPA policies and practices as well as a wealth of information and resources to help them do so.”

PEGS offers affected parents free support regardless of the age of their child and trains professionals on recognising the signs of CPA and how to respond effectively.

CPA explained

CPA covers a range of abusive and violent behaviours displayed by a child of any age, including adult children towards their parent, carer, or guardian. Child-to-parent abuse can also impact other family members, including siblings, where between 3% and 10% of UK households could be affected.

CPA includes physical, financial, verbal, and even sexual abuse – and not only affects familial wellbeing but the physical health, mental health, and employment prospects of the victim. In fact, among PEGS parents, over 40% have been forced to reduce their hours or leave work due to the abuse.

John said: “We wanted to ensure managers and HR teams were supported to learn more about CPA, discover how it could be impacting their service users and own staff, and implement effective policies and practices which are going to truly support those affected by this issue.

“Staff members may not feel comfortable disclosing to their employer that they are being abused by their child, especially if there’s no support structure in place. In many cases, their manager may not have even heard of CPA, and it’s even less likely that they have existing CPA-focused policies and practices.

“We’ve been training organisations such as local authorities, police forces, and charities for the past 18 months, so we know it’s something that managers are willing to learn more about once they realise the significance. After most sessions I lead, at least one of the professionals being trained discloses that they have been impacted by CPA, which is why it’s important that organisations look to support their staff and service users.

“There are so many ways organisations can assist – such as implementing different working patterns or enabling their employees to access support services during their working day; but most of all, parents experiencing CPA simply want to be listened to and believed. A supportive atmosphere where they feel comfortable to disclose their situation makes all the difference.”

Tony Hyland, Senior National Account Manager for the DWP, said: “The DWP is delighted to support in the promotion of the CPA Covenant which, building on our work in establishing the Care Leaver Covenant (CLC) and the Employers Domestic Abuse Covenant (EDAC), will not only provide affect parents with practical assistance – but will also engage our National Employers and Partners in highlighting this issue and signing up to the Covenant itself, thereby working with PEGS on an ongoing basis.”

To find out more about the CPA Covenant, click here.

In this article, you learned that:

  • Between 3% and 10% of UK households could be affected by Child to Parent Abuse (CPA).
  • PEGS, a non-profit that offers parents free support regardless of the age of their child also trains professionals on recognising the signs of CPA and how to respond.
  • Among PEGS parents, over 40% have been forced to reduce their hours or leave work due to CPA.

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