RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
Hope for children and families: targeting abusive parenting and the associated impairment of children.
The purpose of this study is to distill the "effective practice elements" from randomised controlled interventions (RCTs) to prevent the recurrence of abusive and neglectful parenting and the associated health and developmental impairment of children. The resulting elements would be used then to develop a step-by-step modular-systemic approach to intervention that is suitable to the needs of a variety of frontline practitioners in social care, health, and education. A series of 22 randomised RCTs were analysed using the distillation and matching approach to establish the presence of effective practice elements. The focus was physical and sexual abuse, victims and children, and young people as perpetrators; neglect including failure to thrive, emotional abuse (exposure to violence and mental health issues). The studies were analysed for effective practice elements, across different approaches matched to interventions focused on parenting, on children and young people, and on family/professional relationships. The proportion of practice elements utilised in each form of maltreatment was defined. The distillation process resulted in a total of 47 practice elements present across all forms of maltreatment studied. An experienced group of practitioners from statutory and voluntary agencies ordered and integrated the most frequently utilised emerging elements into a series of step-by-step modules, which could fit the complex needs of families when maltreatment had occurred. The resulting manual, Hope for Children and Families, provides a "menu" of evidence-based, step-by-step modular interventions targeting the profile of abusive and neglectful parenting and associated impairments of children. To be effective for frontline practitioners, the manual will need to be delivered in a user-friendly format, training developed, and supervision and support provided.
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