Project Lead(s): Joan Durrant
According to UNICEF, almost one billion children regularly experience physical punishment at home.
Changing entrenched beliefs that perpetuate this situation is a daunting challenge, as these beliefs are often handed down across generations, reinforced by laws, supported by religious interpretations and embedded in traditions.
Approaches are needed that can provide parents with a new lens through which to view children as people with rights to dignity, protection and participation in their learning.
The project aimed to build the sustainability of a parenting program – Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting (PDEP) – with a demonstrated impact on parents’ approval of physical punishment by deepening their understanding of child development and healthy relationships, and increasing their confidence as problem solvers.
The PDEP Mentor Trainer (MT) team created a four-day Advanced Training program to enrich and ensure knowledge of the PDEP content, approach and delivery process.
Eight Local Facilitators (LF) from Kosovo, Kenya and Canada attended the training session and, following the Advanced Training, they planned similar, four-day training sessions for other LFs in their home communities.
All LFs were trained in the ethical administration of standardized pre- and post-test questionnaires to parents and were asked to administer these questionnaires in their parent groups, so that the team could assess the impact of PDEP on parents using this laddered training system.
Advanced Training of PDEP was successfully implemented, with at least 94% of participants reporting increased understanding and confidence in a variety of areas related to both the program’s content and its delivery process.
Data collected from parents who took the program further documented the success of the laddered training model. Post-program questionnaire responses from a sample of 161 parents indicated that 98% were mostly or very satisfied with the program and 91% would recommend PDEP to other parents.
The parents also reported increased knowledge of typical child development, decreased approval of physical punishment, and strong beliefs that PDEP will change their behavior and relationships with their children.
The team has expanded LF training to diverse Canadian communities and is supporting its further expansion in other countries. On the basis of their success, additional Save The Children offices have invested in the laddered training model and are already scaling up PDEP.
The team is considering an application to Phase II Transition To Scale (TTS) funding to implement the innovations, with the objective of scaling the program in at least one low- or middle-income country (LMIC) and are seeking partners who can contribute adequate matching funds to meet this objective.
As a result of additional funding that has been leveraged, at least 89 additional LFs are now working in several Canadian provinces with diverse communities (including with immigrant, refugee, First Nations and Hutterite parents).