NVR project comes out tops

Members of the NVR project team at the award ceremony with, back row centre,  Stephen Whitmore, Director Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Adult Learning Disability Services.
Service Managers Beverley Mack (Bexley - back left) and Linda Devlin (Greenwich - front left) with Director Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Adult Learning Disability Services Stephen Whitmore, Family Therapist Elisabeth Heismann and participants in the NVR Project.

An Oxleas project to reduce violence in families was joint winner of the first London Children’s Safeguarding Board Awards.

The awards were presented at the board’s annual conference held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster on 5 December 2011.

The trust’s Bexley and Greenwich child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) Non Violent Resistance (NVR) Project seeks to reduce violence in families by addressing destructive behaviour in children and adolescents. Through a series of parenting groups, the project helps parents and carers to overcome feelings of helplessness through support networks in and outside the home.

The other joint winner was the London Family, Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC).

The CAMHS NVR project is based on the methods and philosophy of the non-violent civil rights’ leaders Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Martin Luther King. Parents who took part in it have described how it helped them to rebuild relationships with their children and reduce levels of distress in their family.

The judges drew particular attention to the levels of engagement achieved by the project, commenting: “'The panel saw this as a very positive, cost effective project with strong outcomes for families, and were particularly impressed with the level of engagement with fathers. Our panel of young assessors were moved by the enthusiasm of the service users they met, who felt the project had saved their families - the young people were particularly impressed that these parents were so engaged in the process.”

Bexley CAMHS Service Manager Beverley Mack paid special tribute to the contributions to the project of family therapists Liz Day and Elisabeth Heismann: “This is a great achievement and well deserved. Congratulations to all colleagues involved in NVR, and in particular to Liz and Elisabeth for their creativity, passion and tenacity in turning a good idea into excellent, innovative practice with impressive outcomes for families.”

Elisabeth Heismann said: “I’m very pleased that NVR is now widely acknowledged as playing a major role in safeguarding children and families. It is in large part thanks to the contributions of parents and the facilitators within Oxleas that we have achieved this.”

The London Safeguarding Children Board provides strategic advice and support to London’s 32 Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs). 

Published on 8th December 2011