Taking a pause reduces violence against children

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From left to right: Dr Bernadette Madrid, director of the Philippine Child Protection Network; Professor Catherine Ward, University of Cape Town; Dr Jamie M. Lachman; Professor Liane Peña Alampay, Ateneo de Manila University; and Ms Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines Country Representative

Photo credit: King Filart

At CEBI, our researchers believe it is vital to get their findings into the hands of the people who can use them - policy-makers, government officials, third sector practitioners. That’s why Dr Jamie Lachman, one of our research officers, was in Manila recently to share the results of a small-scale randomised controlled trial of Parenting for Lifelong Health - Phillipines. The Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH) for Young Children (PLH Kids) programme is culturally adapted for each new setting it is tested in. In the Philippines, PLH Kids is known as the Masayang Pamilya Para sa Batang Pilipino Program, or MaPa. MaPa is a group-based parenting programme for families with children ages 2 to 6 aimed at reducing child maltreatment and improving child wellbeing. It is designed specifically for vulnerable families who are part of the Philippine Pantawid Pamilya Programme, a nationwide conditional cash transfer programme for low-income families.

Sixty-seven participants from UNICEF, government, academia, and NGOs gathered to hear from Jamie and partners from Ateneo de Manila University and the Child Protection Network share qualitative and quantitative results from the study – read more here. The evaluation of the MaPa programme shows some promising results, including a 52% reduction in physical abuse of children amongst families who participated in the parenting sessions in comparison to those who received normal family support services. One parent commented: “Before when I got really angry...you can’t avoid being hot-headed because there’s five of them. Now you stop and think that you need to ‘take a pause’ so that you don’t hurt the child.”

Oxford and Ateneo are in the midst of planning for the next stage of this research project in collaboration with UNICEF and the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development. This will include a multisite trial of the programme in 3 regions in the Philippines, a 6-month follow-up evaluation of the current trial, an adaptation of PLH for Adolescents, and building capacity of local service providers to train facilitators so that the programme can be implemented at scale. Professor Frances Gardner is the co-Principal Investigator on this project.

A short video about the MaPa project:

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