Working with families whose child is bullying

An evidence-based guide for practitioners
CFCA Paper No. 26 – July 2014

Approach to managing bullying

Intervention should consist of a management program determined by the needs of the child and family. The following four-step approach may assist practitioners to manage the child who is bullying and their family.

Step 1: Begin working with the family Gain trust and develop the parents' understanding of the child's problems and the risks they face in the future.
Step 2: Assess risk, effects and the family's capacity Determine a risk rating; assess existing protective factors and the families' capacity to reduce risk.
Step 3: Develop a risk reduction management program When dealing with a child or family with multiple problems, setting priorities may be necessary.
Step 4: Put a management program into practice The aims of management are to decrease the risk factors in the child's life and manage the present concerns regarding behaviour.

Evaluation of bullying behaviours, "at risk" and protective factors and timely supportive intervention are keys to preventing children's adjustment problems. The remainder of this guide provides the tools and resources to assist with these parts of the process.