'Dealing with the Bullies' report launched

Parentline Plus, part of the Family Lives Group, is calling for greater support for families with children who bully in the school and home environment.

The call comes as Parentline Plus releases its report ‘Dealing with the bullies: Can Parents Prevent Bullying Behaviour?’ which follows research from long calls* to their free 0808 800 2222 Helpline.

Between October 2008 and April 2010, Parentline Plus’ free 24 hour helpline received 67,983 long calls of which 3,331 calls concerned bullying. This amounts to 5% of all long calls to Parentline Plus.

Key findings from Parentline Plus

  • In 89% of the callers that rang Parentline Plus regarding bullying, the perpetrator was known to the victim (2,967 out of 3,331).
  • In 8% of these cases, the caller’s child was the perpetrator involved.
  • 68% of the perpetrators come from the school environment, either from the same class or pupils from other classes.

Jeremy Todd, Parentline Plus Chief Executive said:

“Bullying is a real concern to the families of bullied children who often find the situation traumatic and hard to manage. Other families, however may be experiencing the reverse: what to do if their child is the bully? Whilst the focus is primarily on victims, we believe working with the families of bullies is the best preventative measure and parents and professionals must also engage with children who bully and their parents. Families with children who bully often feel isolated and unable to ask for help, but yet these are exactly the families we need to work with to tackle this problem. Previous families who have worked with Parentline Plus have found that with the support of a dedicated parent support worker, can turn their child’s life around and help divert children as young as 6 years old away from an almost inevitable path to permanent exclusion.”

To address the problem of bullying and to encourage greater parental involvement in the schools; Parentline Plus runs a series of preventative programmes within schools. One example is “Be Someone to Tell”, a three year project that supports parents, pupils and schools in identifying and preventing bullying, improving the emotional and mental wellbeing of children and enabling perpetrators to achieve their potential.

Parentline Plus is calling for the implementation of appropriate support and interventions to enable families to work with their child and with the school to help identify, address and change behaviour.