Parenting a child affected by domestic violence

Parenting a child affected by domestic violence

Hedy Clever


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  • Author
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Many children become looked after because they have experienced very difficult and painful experiences in their young lives that have a lasting impact on their lives.

This guide explores domestic violence, its links with child neglect, and its effects on children at different ages and stages of development. It provides expert knowledge coupled with facts, figures and guidance presented in a straightforward and accessible style.

Two adoptive parents describe what it is like to parent children who have been affected by domestic violence and how this impacts their life as a family.

This book is part of CoramBAAF’s Parenting Matters series which explores many of the health conditions commonly diagnosed in looked after children.

Who is this book for?

A useful book for adopters, those thinking about adopting, foster carers, social work practitioners and all those involved in the care of looked after children. The combination of expert information and first-hand experience will help readers gain knowledge and understanding and make informed decisions.

What you will find in this book

The first half of the book examines domestic violence and its effects on parenting, along with its links to child neglect. The book then focuses on the effects that domestic violence can have on children at different ages and developmental stages, and the particular challenges facing adoptive parents.

In the second half, two adopters describe their experience of parenting children affected by domestic violence and how this affected, and continues to affect, day-to-day family life.

‘It became clear that [Luca’s] need for safe surroundings, safe people and predictability was so great that each time we left home, he felt completely vulnerable and terrified. By acting out, he ensured that we kept him as close to us as physically possible during any journey, holding his hand and never letting him stray near his siblings, who didn’t need to do much to set him off. What people saw was a “naughty boy”, having tempers, swearing, hitting and kicking his parents…What I felt was his terror, his fear of being lost or even deliberately left somewhere because he was so “bad”.’  Melinda Rigopoulo


Hedy Clever:
Dr Hedy Cleaver is an Emeritus Professor at Royal Holloway College, University of London. Her experience as a social worker and child psychologist informs her research on vulnerable children and families and the impact of professional interventions. The findings from her research have had an identifiable impact on policy in the UK in respect of children and families over the last 25 years.