Floss and the Boss : Helping Children Learn About Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control book cover
1st Edition

Floss and the Boss
Helping Children Learn About Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control

ISBN 9780367510794
Published September 28, 2020 by Routledge
56 Pages 24 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

For effective and safe use, this book should be purchased alongside the professional guidebook. Both books can be purchased together as a set, Helping Children Learn About Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control: A Floss and the Boss Storybook and Professional Guide [9780367344511]

This beautifully illustrated and sensitively written storybook has been created to help young children understand about domestic abuse and coercive control. Floss is a happy little puppy who loves going to Doggy Daycare and playing with her best friend, Houdini. The story explores how things change when her Mum’s new friend, Boss, comes into their lives. It helps children who have experienced domestic abuse and trauma to make sense of their feelings, teaching them to seek help and stay safe.

This book:

  • Can be used to support the ‘Healthy Relationships’ topic in the PSHE curriculum
  • Can be used to address the topic of domestic abuse and coercive control with individuals, small groups and whole classes, enabling dialogue around a sensitive issue
  • Encourages children to seek support

Designed to be used with primary-aged children, this book provides a vehicle for talking to children about staying safe and their emotional wellbeing. It is also available to purchase as part of a set with a professional guide to support the sensitive and effective use of the storybook.

Table of Contents

Floss and the Boss: An Illustrated Storybook

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Catherine Lawler works as a training consultant for a Safeguarding Children's Partnership. She has extensive experience supporting children, young people and families. She has worked as a children's therapist, specialising in domestic abuse. She has developed resources on bullying, peer-on-peer abuse and children accessing sexualised imagery.

Abigail Sterne is a senior educational psychologist working in schools in Manchester and is a former teacher. She works closely with Central Manchester Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and has worked with fostering and adoption services.

Catherine and Abigail are co-authors of Domestic Violence and Children: A Handbook for Schools and Early Years Settings (Routledge, 2010). They have developed domestic abuse and safeguarding training packages for education and social care services. They wrote and delivered initial training for key adults for Operation Encompass, whereby key trained adults in schools receive prompt police notifications about abusive incidents. For this they received Commander’s Certificates from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. 

Nicky Armstrong, B.A. (Hons) Theatre Design, M.A. Slade School of Fine Art, has illustrated 30 books which have been translated and published in seven countries. She has achieved major commissions in both mural and fine art painting.


‘The story made me feel grateful … there’s help for Floss.’

Y1 pupil, Werneth Primary School, Oldham

‘This is an important topic to talk about … different year groups can read it … it’s about physical and mental bullying; the scenarios can happen in real life.’

‘The message is that you should never be controlled.’

Y6 pupils, Crab Lane Primary School, Manchester

‘This book does a great job of showing how domestic abuse and coercive control can manifest and the impact they can have on children and young people. It is a very useful resource for education and social care professionals working with families.’Kate Stanley, Director of Strategy, Policy and Evidence at NSPCC

"Beautifully written with stunning illustrations, this is an excellent book for primary aged children."

Social Work News

"This sensitively written story has been created to help primary-age children understand about domestic abuse and coercive control… Use the book in the classroom to support the ‘healthy relationships’ element of your PSHE curriculum or to address the topic of domestic abuse and coercive control with either your whole class or individual pupils."

Teach Primary