Do parenting programmes help prevent violence in the home?

How effective can parenting programmes be in helping to curb family violence? How would one measure this? These are key questions of a recent study that uses the outcome evaluation method to look critically at parenting programmes, and how they can or should be evaluated.

The Full Article:

Two UCT-based academics, Cathy Ward and Inge Wessels, have played a leading role in the study, which is a collaboration between the University of Cape Town, WHO, UNICEF, and the WHO-led Violence Prevention Alliance. The resulting publication will be of interest to a wide range of researchers, practitioners, activists and policy makers who are involved with the challenges of parenting, and especially with violence prevention in the home. It will also be of interest to those who are keen to explore the potential of outcome evaluation as an evaluation method.

The publication focuses on parenting programmes to prevent child maltreatment and other forms of violence later in life such as youth and intimate partner violence. It has a hands-on approach, identifying some of the main features of effective programmes, looking at cross-cultural issues, and describing the activities that need to be completed before an evaluation can be carried out, as well as the evaluation process itself.

Supplementing this publication is a web-appendix, which includes links to useful evaluation websites, evaluation guides, key scientific papers on evaluation, and a list of evaluators working in the area of parenting programmes to prevent violence.

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