Project information

Rebuilding Families

Support young people who are excluded from mainstream school by tackling the root causes of their behaviour by working with the family as a whole. Family Focus is trying to break the multi-generational cycles of domestic abuse, addiction and consequent lack of education leading to unemployment

January 2012 - December 2012

Charity information: Nelson Trust

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  • Need


    Domestic abuse, addiction and mental health difficulties within a family and extended family cause anxiety, fear and frustration in its young people. Young people react to this with disruptive, violent behaviour at home, hitting out at anything, and at school which leads to inevitable exclusion from school. Children and young people who witness domestic abuse learn that it is a normal, acceptable way of settling conflict within a family, and that if you are not the abuser, you will be abused


    Bespoke therapeutic intervention with each family helps the young person re-integrate with his family. Initial home visits by a family therapist to the parent and separate work with the child helps him to feel secure enough to attend school full time. The parent carer will receive regular specialist support at Family Focus, the whole family will receive family therapy to learn positive communication skills and coping strategies to reduce anxiety levels and develop greater self control.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Help the child/young person to stop being violent and disruptive and behave at school and at home


    » One to one therapeutic intervention with the child to develop other ways of expressing stress and insecurity
    » One to one therapeutic intervention at the carer parent's home to build trust and enable her participation in family therapy at a Family Focus Centre
    » Involve the carer parent and her children in family therapy and family group activities to develop verbal communication skills and coping strategies
    » involve the wider family in family therapy to develop communication, coping strategies and group activity eg. cook and eat a meal together and talk

    What success will look like

    Success will be the child calms down, stops fighting his siblings and hitting his mother, able to concentrate at school and mix normally with his peers and staff

    Aim 2

    Stop domestic abuse within the family. Children witnessing this learn that this is the the norm


    » Introduce the abused partner to specialist domestic violence agency and support application for housing if needed
    » Help the abused partner deal with the trauma of domestic abuse and latent trauma from childhood experience of abuse
    » Build self confidence of abused partner and verbal communication skills. Encourage entry to addiction treatment if needed
    » Involve the abused partner in personal development workshops and employability skills training available within Nelson Trust

    What success will look like

    Success will be no domestic violence in the home, family members able to communicate positively, discuss and resolve problems in a secure environment

    Aim 3

    Break the multigenerational cycle of domestic abuse, addiction, trauma and mental health difficulty


    » Treat the trauma of domestic abuse - abusers and abused usually experienced domestic abuse as children and remain traumatised from that as well
    » Less stress will make parent(s) with addiction and mental health problems more willing to seek treatment - facilitate this
    » Develop parenting skills using family workshops so all can develop appropriate reactions and self control Effective parenting gives a child security.
    » Encourage enjoyable activities as a family group to develop effective communication, cooperation and support

    What success will look like

    Success will be realising you do not have to be the abuser in order to avoid being abused. You do not need drugs or alcohol to survive your trauma as you have none you feel secure

  • Impact


    Reducing the families affected by domestic abuse will improve the number of children able to attend mainstream school successfully, and they in turn will become effective parents because they will have experienced effective parenting. This should help to reduce the need for expensive long term intervention by statutory services with families experiencing domestic abuse. It will also increase the number of educated young people joining the work force


    The main risk is insufficient funding to run the project for the full period as domestic abuse and addiction are hard, uncomfortable, unappealing topics most people prefer to ignore. We are applying to trusts and other sources for funding interested in this field.


    Donors to the project will receive an annual newsletter update and an email to direct them to our website every time we post an update on our website (6 monthly). Social network followers will see our Facebook updates. Major donors will receive an annual report.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £30,400

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      Amount Heading Description
      £10,500 Family therapist 12 hrs/wk Family therapy
      £10,900 2 family support therapists 12 hrs/wk Family engagement & clinical support
      £5,000 Psychotherapist 2 hrs/wk Clinical intervention
      £4,000 Mentoring 20 days Craft training and mentoring for young people
  • Background


    Workshops and Therapeutic Interventions will be based over the three Nelson Trust locations across Gloucestershire for ease of access.
    Stroud – The Nelson Trust’s Education, Training and Employment Centre
    Gloucester – Belsize House (has a crèche)
    Gloucester – The Nelson Trust’s Aftercare Service


    Main beneficiaries will be young people currently excluded from school for disruptive and violent behaviour and whose behaviour should improve significantly with more effective parenting and reduced levels of stress at home enabling them to concentrate and learn at school and behave better at home. Domestic abuse of family members will stop substance misusers will enter and complete treatment. Other benefing: their families, extended families schools people around them and the public purse

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Nelson Trust has developed expertise in supporting the families of people with addiction, whether or not that person is in treatment, and also supporting the person in recovery. This team is now called Family Focus. It cooperates with another Gloucestershire charity, Infobuzz which gives young people information about the risks of drug and alcohol misuse, building their confidence, so that they can say ‘no’. Our new services are set up with fundraising becoming self sustaining when proven

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Philip Trenchard

    Senior Family Therapist – Families & Children Work, Clinical Lead, Couples Work, One to One work, He will develop and deliver the Programme

    Diane Porter

    Psychotherapist – Couples Work, One to One work, Family Work. She will treat current and residual trauma from family abuse

    Fran Callen

    Family Engagement and Clinical Support – Assessment, she will work with young people and their families also involving the expertise of other staff