What’s up Junior? – A Guide for Professionals Working with Parents and Children who have Experienced or Witnessed Violent, Abusive or Unhealthy Relationships
The Relationships Centre,
Contact: 01925 246910
STAR RATING: 2/5
This resource pack features six short stories: “Obs finds his voice”, “Polly’s New Look”, “Muddled up Colly”, “Middy in the Middle”, “Ivor the Detective”, and “Vicky’s New Home”, writes Philippa Hulley.
Written with five- to eight-year-old children in mind, the stories are about child characters who have adopted different roles within violent and dysfunctional families.
It also includes a short workbook featuring “magic mirrors” on which children can draw and write about their lives. The pack aims to help children who have experienced difficult and abusive family situations to understand and talk about their feelings.
However, the stories are idealised. Adults solve the problems and the child is then happy. Feelings of anxiety, grief, guilt and distress that may remain long after difficult family situations are resolved or are not explored.
Moreover the possibility that family problems may not be resolved, but that with support healthier coping strategies could be learned by the child, is not suggested. The basic concept of the pack has potential and the child characters are engaging. I would like to see those characters and their narratives developed in more creative ways.
It would be useful to have more information about theory and research on which the characters and their stories are based.
I also suggest the workbook could be improved by inclusion of a wider range of interactive activities. More detailed signposting of longer-term support services would also be helpful.
Philippa Hulley is a 16+ social worker, Solihull Council