Parenting a Child affected by Child to Parent Violence and Aggression cover

Parenting Matters: Parenting a child affected by child to parent violence and aggression


Child to parent violence is a distressing phenomenon for any family, but it may be more common in children who have been separated from their birth family and who experienced abuse, neglect or other trauma in their early years. Aggression can become a problem at different ages and stages, and may have its roots in a variety of causes. For parents and carers of these children who are seeking to help them manage or overcome this difficulty, it is imperative that the past informs the present – to relate this early trauma to the child’s difficulties now, and to use this knowledge to inform healing and development for the child. 

This new title in the Parenting Matters series provides authoritative, clinical guidance for carers and adopters on why child to parent violence and aggression can occur and what can be done about it. In straightforward language, it explains how violence may manifest, and how sensory processing issues and a need for control may affect behaviour and contribute to childhood aggression. Using a trauma-responsive approach, the guide sets out a range of strategies that can help manage violence and encourage children to develop more positive ways to approach challenges. It also describes what it is like to parent an affected child, with thoughtful firsthand accounts from adopters who share their parenting experiences and offer useful advice about what worked, or didn’t work, for their families.

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

Listen to the author interview

Jo Francis talks to author Hetty Verhagen about her new Parenting Matters title, Parenting a child affected by child to parent violence and aggression. They talk through the possible causes of child to parent violence and aggression, how we need to destigmatise this behaviour within children's social work and care experienced networks, and the strategies parents and carers can explore to help those they care for. Hetty takes a child centered approach in her work and throughout this book.

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 case study 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 the often complex underlying reasons for learning difficulties in fostered and adopted children, and how these may be connected to earlier trauma and disruptive relationships. It also considers how best to diagnose, manage and treat this issue. In the second half, a personal narrative from an adopter explores how their children have been affected, and the ways in which they have sought to manage and/or solve their children’s difficulties.

About the author

Hedwig Verhagen is an independent therapeutic social worker and a social work lecturer at the University of Leeds. She has an MSc in Therapeutic Interventions for Psychological Trauma. She has worked in adoption and special guardianship support services for many years and was part of the small team that set up the Centre for Adoption Support in Warrington. Hedwig has a special interest in attachment, sensory processing and body-focused approaches to working with trauma.

FosterTalk Magazine

Parenting a Child affected by Child to Parent Violence and Aggression was included in Issue 16 of FosterTalk Magazine. Click the image below to see more.

Two page spread about the book in FosterTalk Magazine


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