“Parenting Orders: The Parents Attend Yet the Kids Still Offend”, Youth Justice 2012 12: 118, August 2012

This article draws from a wider thesis completed at Bedfordshire University (Vlugter, 2009 ‘Too Little, Too Late: Parenting Orders as a form of crime prevention’). It presents results from an empirical case study that involved 148 cases and examines the circumstances of parents attending programmes, their attendance and the young people’s recorded offending before and after the intervention, considering the type of intervention and number of sessions attended.

“Why Don’t We Listen? Parents of high-level offenders asked for help before their child’s first offence”, Backstop Support Ltd blog, June 2014

This paper also drew on some of the wider thesis (Vlugter, 2009) and provides data that indicates that a large majority of parents of ‘high end’offenders had called for help before their child’s first recorded offence. The help was often sought from statutory services but with negative results. This paper considers how professionals can support families earlier and more effectively.

“Balancing positive engagement and transparent risk analysis with volatile youth: Introducing the Tightrope Tool”, Howard League What is Justice? Working Papers 18/2015

This paper presents a tool that encourages the engagement of the young person in the analysis of their risks, strengths and needs and in the planning of actions based on a balanced and transparent holistic assessment. It will introduce the analogy of the Tightrope, outline how it fits with current assessment frameworks to support an integrated approach and considers the role of the practitioner to apply a person-centred, strength-based approach with the tool. This paper will outline why an integrated and interactive holistic tool for volatile youth would be of benefit to both young people and professionals from various disciplines and concludes with an invitation to experienced practitioners to trial the tool in wider practice.

“How do ACEs and Contextual Safeguarding fit together? Using the Tightrope to explain”, LinkedIn blog Jan 2019

This post was in response to a colleague’s question asking how these popular frameworks and discourse might work together. The analogy of the Tightrope can apply to both. While this blog doesn’t mention the toolkit, the cards within the toolkit do include “factors” that range from the individual to the family, peer group, school, community and political contexts.

“Life is always a tightrope or a feather bed. Give me the tightrope.” Edith Warton