Strengthening Bonds between Children, Young People, and their Families after Family Violence


family violence
young people
child welfare
music therapy

How to Cite

Fairchild, R., & Sheridan, J. (2018). Strengthening Bonds between Children, Young People, and their Families after Family Violence. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 18(4).


The experience of family violence greatly impacts family dynamics and often results in children and young people becoming intertwined in a complex cycle of love, hope, and fear within their family system. Research in this context has emphasised how having a close relationship to an attuned adult or caregiver is a key protective factor for children and young people experiencing family violence, therefore engagement of family and supportive systems is an important part of the work. This article will explore our collaborative approach to working creatively with children, young people, and their non-violent family members as a way of bringing families back together after their relationships have been disrupted due to family violence. We will draw upon a case example from our work to describe how we use music to give voice to children and young people’s experiences. This approach aims to support children to tell their story, build upon their existing resources, and strengthen connections with the supportive people in their lives. In doing so, we will demonstrate how music can be used to advocate for children and young people’s voices to be heard within the context of their family’s experience.

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