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Title: An investigation into the impact of domestic violence perpetrator programmes on children and young people
Author: Alderson, Susan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 255X
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2015
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As men’s intersecting identities as fathers and as perpetrators of domestic violence is increasingly acknowledged in research and practice, the issue of safe parenting has gained heightened attention on the social work agenda. Alongside this, domestic violence perpetrator programmes (DVPPs) in the UK have incorporated the issue of children’s safety and the harmful parenting of domestically violent fathers within their programme content. However, there is a lack of research on DVPPs that take into account the views of children and the outcomes for them of their father’s engagement in the programme. This thesis contributes to the literature on domestic violence and children in two ways; it closes the gap on outcomes for children of their fathers participation on a DVPP, and presents a new way of gathering data from children. While there was some reference in the literature to using task based methods as inquiry, this was quite general. A multi-methodological multi-stage approach was taken to explore how a positive outcome for children might be conceptualised. This consisted of thirteen interviews with children using a bespoke child friendly task-based research tool (research book), eleven interviews with DVPP workers, observation of a DVPP session on children and young people, and an online survey of forty-four Respect member domestic violence integrated services. Key findings reveal that despite a desire to improve the situation of children very few organisations provide a direct support service to the children of men on programmes. Findings also reveal that one of the barriers to children moving on is the silence regarding their father’s participation on a DVPP, and that few children are informed of their father’s engagement on a programme. DVPP workers also reveal that the specific work undertaken on the issue of parenting within programme content is beginning to close a gap in provision by addressing child-centred fathering while simultaneously addressing men’s use of violence. Findings suggest that for domestically violent fathers, these sessions enhance their awareness of the impact of their violence and also function as a means for men to improve their relationship with their children and to become a ‘better father’. Children’s interview data substantiate these findings with children reporting through the task based research book, their positive thoughts and feelings about their father’s participation on a DVPP. This thesis describes how, and to what extent children themselves benefit, providing a unique perspective regarding the nature scope and adequacy of domestic violence services and the outcomes for children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available