Project team from Brighton visits Åmål

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Since last summer Åmål municipality has been participating in the EU project Responding to Child to Parent Violence, about children who are behaving violently towards their parents. A delegation from Brighton visited Åmål to learn about the situation in Sweden.

The project Responding to Child to Parent Violence aims to prevent children and parents to end up in a situation where young people control their families. Five countries and five towns are part of the information exchange, among them Åmål in Sweden and Brighton in the UK.

“It has turned out that the section of youth that are violent towards their parents is getting bigger and bigger”, says Ulla Mortensen who is responsible for the project in Åmål municipality.

The project is largely based on a working intervention model that has been developed in cooperation between Brighton and Hove City Council and the University of Brighton called Break 4 Change. Young people and parents are divided into two groups, according to the model. While the young people, among other things, are urged to express themselves through art and music instead of expressing aggression, the parents get help to reinforce their parental roles

“The outcome for the participants has been fantastic”, says Martin Olén who is a social welfare secretary in Åmål municipality.

Last summer a delegation from Brighton visited Åmål. The group consisted of Dr Paula Wilcox and Michelle Pooley, the coordinator from Brighton and Hove City Council. For three hectic days both met representatives from school, health care, social advice and guidance centre for young people and the social services. The aim of the visit was to gather information on how common a problem child to parent violence is in Åmål, and Sweden generally.

“The next step will be to send a delegation to Brighton”, says Ulla Mortensen.

The intention is that Åmål becomes the first municipality in Sweden to try the British working model.

“We hope to find volunteers that think that the model seems interesting and is worth testing”, says Mortensen.