How did Capa First Response start?

February 14, 2024

What is commonly termed ‘child to parent violence and abuse’ is an area of family conflict that has received much traction and media coverage over recent years. From a COVID research report released in 2020, to being covered on Casualty, Police emergency 999 and the release of several books.  Families living with this issue wont find any comfort from the sensational headlines around this issue however, having a greater acknowledgement that they are not alone and specialist services such as Capa First Response emerging will provide real support to help families understand this issue and raise awareness of what is needed to stop this continuing to happen in the home.

My name is Jane Griffiths  and I am the founder of Capa. I have worked with families for over 30 years,  18 years working with family violence and over 10 years specifically with Child or adolescent to parent violence and abuse (CAPVA). In those 10 years of specialised work I travelled up and down the UK training professionals and meeting families living with this issue, and the message was clear from the outset:

“It’s great you offer this training but what now”? 

“How do I as a parent get support when there is nothing in my area?”’

In 2019 I was faced with redundancy and it was while I was preparing for an interview that I was asked ‘If you had a budget to create a service offering support to families and professionals what would that look like’? I wrote down 4 things:

  • To create a service that supported families regardless of location
  • To create a service that supported the WHOLE family
  • To create a service that supported professionals
  • To raise awareness of this issue so families would not feel alone in the experience

This is where Capa started – for the next year, I used my redundancy money to create the foundations of a service, in my spare bedroom I held my first advice and support sessions for families and provided professional training. I received my first £500 grant for the Police gardening fund in Sussex and started my first collaborative piece of work with The Rita Project looking at raising awareness around CAPVA in the Pan Sussex area. 

In 2020 Covid hit, families already living with CAPVA had nowhere to go, services closed and families struggled to get support.  Capa First Response was registered at Companies House on May 7th 2020.

The first person to contact me when our website went live was a parent in Derbyshire, they had sent me an email at 3 o’clock in the morning , after an argument with their son who had destroyed property and the parent had locked themselves in their bedroom for fear of what may happen, they found us on a google search. The email was desperately looking for support, they explained they lived in a rural community with no services  and did not know what to do next. 

I knew at that moment setting up Capa was the right thing to do, as regardless of location Capa was able to offer this parent immediate support and advice, enabling them to feel less isolated and more confident in how to respond to their child. Now, almost 4 years down the road Capa is clear on what it is setting out to do based on the following 4 areas:

  • Offering FREE advice and support sessions to families and professionals regardless of location
  • Offering FREE or low cost 121 support for the WHOLE family
  • Delivering specialist training and consultation to professionals to enable them to support more families 
  • Raising awareness via media, research, collaboration with others

Our team has grown from 1 to 10 enabling us to offer more support to families, increase awareness of this issue and provide specialist training to many professionals. 

Our vision at Capa is:

To stop harmful and/or aggressive behaviour in the home from a child or adolescent towards a parent or caregiver; For no parent or caregiver to feel alone in their experience  and for whole families to have access to the support they need to improve their family situation. 

For more information about any of our services visit our pages for Families or Professionals.

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