Parenting for Lifelong Health – Philippines

Project outline


Cultural and contextual adaptation, early stage testing, and a randomised controlled trial of a parenting programme, ‘Parenting for Lifelong Health’ for children, embedded in a cash transfer system in low-income urban areas in the Philippines.

PLH - Philippines responds to the need to prevent child maltreatment and other forms of violence in Filipino families. It is a multi-sectoral collaboration between local and international scientists, child and family practitioners and service providers, and the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Research partners include Ateneo de Manila University, the Philippine Child Protection Network, and the University of Cape Town. Funding is from UNICEF Philippines and the UBS Optimus Foundation.

The aim of this project is to adapt and test PLH for Young Children with low-income families in the Philippines. It examines the cultural appropriateness, feasibility, and effectiveness of PLH for Young Children in reducing the risk of violence against children and improving positive parenting behavior in the Filipino context. The project is implemented in close collaboration with the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC).


  1. To determine the needs of parents, primary caregivers, and service providers in receiving and providing parenting services for violence prevention and improving positive parenting behavior [6];
  2. To adapt PLH for Young Children and PLH for Teens so that it is culturally and contextually appropriate to the service delivery system in the Philippines;
  3. To pilot the adapted programmes in order to test its feasibility and acceptability when delivered to low-income families in community settings in Metro Manila;
  4. To test the effectiveness of the adapted programmes on parenting behaviors and other parent/child outcomes when integrated within the DSWD conditional cash transfer system; and
  5. To build the knowledge and skills of practitioners in order to deliver high quality parenting education and support at scale.

Phase 1 (2016-2018): Cultural adaptation, feasibility pilot, and randomised controlled trial of PLH for Young Children (locally known as Masayang Pamilya, or “MaPa Kids”) within the conditional cash transfer system. The randomised controlled trial (N=120 families) examined the effectiveness of the programme on reducing violence against children and associated risks at one-month post-test and 1-year follow-up.

Phase 2 (2019): Cultural adaptation and feasibility pilot of PLH for Teens (MaPa Teens), revision of MaPa Kids into an 8-session programme, and capacity building of local government community workers.

Phase 3 (2020-2022): Real-world trial of MaPa Kids (N=360) in 2 provinces and MaPa Teens (N=180) in Metro Manila testing the effectiveness of the programmes when delivered by community volunteers.

Testimonies from MaPa programme participants:

“Dati po kasi, hindi ako nakakapagsabi [ng nararamdaman] sa mama ko. Ngayon mas lumapit na po yung loob.” (Before, I wasn’t able to tell about my feelings to my mom. Now, I’ve become closer to her.) - Teen

“Halimbawa, may mga pagkakamali silang ginawa [teen], kausapin mo nang mahinahon. [Hindi] basta ka lang dada nang dada, pinapagalitan mo. Nasasaktan din pala sila. Na-realize ko po iyon. Hindi pala tama yung nagawa kong ganun sa iba kong anak, hindi pa huli ang lahat para sakin. Para baguhin ko po yung ganung systema sa mga anak ko.” (For example, when my child makes a mistake, talk to them calmly. Don’t scold them immediately. It hurts them too, I realized that. What I did to my other children wasn’t right, but it’s not too late for me to change the system with my other children.) – Parent