Kent Non-Violent Resistance Training: A Parent’s First-Hand Account of the Experience | News and events

Kent Non-Violent Resistance Training: A Parent’s First-Hand Account of the Experience | News and events

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NELFT NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of  community health and mental health services across the north east London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge and Waltham Forest, Essex and Kent and Medway and Barnet.

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Kent Non-Violent Resistance Training: A Parent’s First-Hand Account of the Experience

For many families in Kent receiving care through Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services (CAMHS), the process of supporting Children and Young People (CYP) can present highly challenging issues.

With no previous treatment or outreach in the region for parents experiencing difficulties and challenges caring for CYP amidst mental health crises, the first Non-Violent Resistance parent group was introduced into North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) Kent CAMHS in 2019 with very positive results.

Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (KMCCG) and NELFT commissioned professional training across Kent and Medway CAMHS services designed to support parents with addressing challenging behaviours inside and outside of the home and re-building relationships with their children.

As of 2022, there are sixteen separate NVR training groups which been run throughout the Autumn and Winter periods of 2021-22. They are available across any locality and have been offered at a variety of different days and times.

Recently, one of the Parent graduates provided feedback on their experience being involved in the group. Here’s what they had to say:

“I completed the NVR programme as a parent In March 2020. Having been on a number of parenting courses in the past, it was empowering to be supported to develop a toolkit to help me support my child. It gave me belief in myself as a parent and helped to reduce the distressed behaviour of my child. Our home has become a much happier place.

At the end of each programme, parents are invited to become parent graduates and have the opportunity to join the next group for a session to share our experience of NVR with other parents starting on their journey. I knew I wanted to do this and started with the next group. This was just as lockdown hit, so we had to deliver the group via video conferencing. The NVR team were so supportive of me as a parent graduate. They valued my contribution and reflected on the discussions we had about the journey I had begun as a parent informed of NVR. I have since supported sessions in every subsequent group.

The NVR team place huge value on supervision that parent graduates are included in and as my experience grew, I was given the amazing opportunity to train alongside many of the CAMHS practitioners as an NVR facilitator. I completed Levels 1,2 and 3 last year and am now a qualified NVR Practitioner with the added bonus of lived experience! I now share the delivery of the content with the other facilitators of the NVR programme.

Being a parent graduate has kept the themes of NVR alive for me. Each group is different and gives me the opportunity to explore the themes that much deeper. Empowering other parents to connect with their children and begin to reduce the behaviours they are finding difficult is so rewarding. I feel having me (or another parent graduate) in the group helps parents to consider trying something different and being more open to the NVR programme.

I have worked with the NVR team to develop an NVR Parent Support group that runs fortnightly for all parents who have completed the 12-week programme to attend to help them on their continued journey. This is now going to be led by myself and some of the other parent graduates with supervised support from the NVR team. I am also currently working with some of the NVR team to develop a local NVR Kent hub to bring together NVR practitioners across Kent so there is the chance to share practice and ideas.

I feel that I can support the practitioners to gain a better understanding of the pressures and issues parents face. The team always listen and reflect on any ideas or challenges I bring regarding NVR and will adapt the programme to try something different.

I was part of the first group of parents to benefit from NVR in CAMHS. It has been a real privilege to see how it has grown and developed. The parents that now come to the group definitely feel more informed of NVR and I think this is due to the hard work that has taken place to train more staff in NVR and the number of groups that have been delivered across Kent in the last 2.5 years.”

Gill Burns, Director of Children’s Services for Essex and Kent, commented that the teams and clinicians have worked in partnership with system colleagues to continually improve the service offer for children and families and the provision of the NVR and are delighted to receive such fantastic feedback.