County firm helps step up national employer support for parents abused by children

A county organisation is playing a major part in stepping up employer support for parents being abused by their children.

Michelle John, director of Pegs
Michelle John, director of Pegs

Shrewsbury-based Pegs – an organisation set up to support families impacted by child to parent abuse (CPA) – has partnered with the Department for Work and Pensions to create the CPA Covenant, to ensure organisations are able to effectively support both staff and service users.

Pegs’ founding director Michelle John explained the main aim was to ensure employers included CPA in their policies and practices around domestic abuse, as well as bringing the often-hidden issue to the attention of more organisations across the UK.

“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,” she added.

The term Child to Parent Abuse covers a range of abusive and violent behaviours displayed by a child of any age (including adult offspring) towards their parent, carer or guardian. Often other family members such as siblings are impacted too, and experts believe between three and ten per cent of UK households could be affected.

CPA includes physical, financial, verbal and even sexual abuse – and often has a profound impact not only upon family life, but also the parent’s relationships, physical health, mental health and employment.

Among Pegs parents, in excess of 40 per cent have been forced to reduce their hours or leave work altogether as a direct result of the abuse.

Michelle added: “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 own staff as well as service users."

To sign up to the CPAC, visit pegsupport.co.uk/cpac

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