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Sinovuyo Teen Parenting Programme Breaks Ground in Providing Evidence and Insights in Preventing Violence Against Children

Programme for parents of adolescents in South Africa shows promise for scaling up
(26 November 2018) In support of local and global efforts to prevent violence against children, UNICEF South Africa and the UNICEF Innocenti partnered with the Department of Social Policy and Intervention Centre of University of Oxford to incubate and test a programme for parents/main caregivers of adolescents.  This was done over a period of four years in the Eastern Cape province, which has the highest percentage of assaults in the country, 50 per cent of the children live in households with no employed adult and 33 per cent live with neither of their biological parents.

READ THE REPORT: Relevance, Implementation and Impact of the Sinovuyo Teen Parenting Programme in South Africa


Research timeline & methodology:  

  • In 2012 an initial draft programme was discussed with 50 local and international experts who shared advice and programme input.
  • In 2013, community workers   were trained and tasked to deliver the programme to 30 parent-teen dyads (n=60 participants).
  • In 2014, a pre-post test of the revised 2013 programme was conducted with  115 parent-teen dyads (n = 230 participants).
  • In 2015–2016, a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted in 40 townships and traditional semi-rural villages with 552 parent-teen dyads (270 intervention and 282 control; i.e. n = 1104 participants). The pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial looked at the extent to which the intended intervention outcomes were achieved. A qualitative study complemented the trial by looking at the effects of service delivery, policy and socio-economic factors that affected programme effectiveness.

The Sinovuyo Teen Parent programme is part of the ‘Parenting for Lifelong Health’ initiative, which aims to develop and test evidence-informed parenting programmes that are non-commercial and relevant to lower and middle income countries.   It is a 14-week parenting programme for at-risk families with 10–18 year-old adolescents, typically delivered to a group of dyads (main caregiver and an adolescent from each household) within a social learning approach. Content can be additionally provided via home visits for those families who miss group workshop sessions.

 

The research undertaken by  UNICEF Innocenti and Oxford University examined the impact, relevance and scalability of Sinovuyo Teen Parenting Programme.  The aim of these studies was not only to increase the evidence base of what works in lower income contexts, but also to gain insight to the lived experiences of the programme facilitators and the beneficiaries, to learn from programme implementers and government partners on the relevance and applicability of the programme and to ultimately recommend a programme for policy implementation in the South African context.

‘Delivering a parent support programme in rural South Africa: The local child and youth care provider experience’ describes how the facilitators benefited from the training and experience of delivering the programme professionally and personally as well as their recommendations for improvements to Sinovuyo Teen.

‘It empowers to attend” captures the voices of  progrmame beneficiaries and  provides a nuanced picture of what changed in the interaction between caregivers and their adolescents and  how these changes took place in addition to what they did not enjoy about Sinovuyo Teen.

Policy and service delivery implications for the implementation and scale up of a parent support programme’  provides insight to  the views expressed by programme implementers, government and non-government stakeholders on how the Sinovuyo Teen programme was delivered, to whom and by whom within the broader service delivery context.

“Theme” picture used on Sinovuyo manuals

 

Relevance, implementation and impact of Sinovuyo Teen Parenting programme in South Africa’ summarizes the findings of the impact of the study,  the perceptions  and experiences of participants and programme implementers and the discussion on key policy and service delivery implications that need to be considered in taking the programme to scale in  South Africa and beyond.

The research toolkit  for the randomised controlled trial and the qualitative studies includes the   research protocols, ethics application and approval documents and research instruments that were used   by the UNICEF- Innocenti and Oxford University research team in testing  the effectiveness and implementation of the programme in  2014 and  in  2015–2016.  These tools are merely examples of what can be used for similar purposes. Consideration would need to be given to relevant adaptations in different contexts.

The qualitative research on Sinovuyo Teen was informed by an in depth evidence focused literature review on parenting, family care and adolescence in east and southern Africa.

 

Research Projects

Violence affecting children
Research Project Research Project

Violence affecting children

Violence affecting children manifests differently in every society. The most effective interventions address both the immediate needs of children and the broader social causes of violence. The Multi Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children, led by Innocenti and national partners in Peru, Zimbabwe, Viet Nam and Italy, builds national research capacity across the four countries. National reports and policy briefs synthesize findings to create a composite picture of violence. Field research tests if interventions to prevent violence are addressing the underlying drivers. An Advisory Board  provides advice and guidance for the Multi Country Study.   Several countries neighboring the four main field sites have initiated the Research to Policy & Practice Process, called R3Ps.. These are scaled-down studies on the drivers of violence allowing UNICEF Country offices and partners to systematically review and prioritize best possible prevention and response interventions based on local evidence. Young Lives is a longitudinal study following the lives of 12,000 children in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam over a 15 year period. The study measures the effect of violence on child outcomes at multiple points in time. Young Lives study data is powerful in suggesting when, where and how risk and protective factors manifest in children’s lives; this work complements the Multi Country Study findings and contributes to new understandings for violence prevention policy and programming.  For a list of the studies, reports, videos, blogs and other related content produced by the Multi-country Study and its spin-off studies, see our list of outputs. 
Family and parenting support
Research Project Research Project

Family and parenting support

Families, parents and guardians are primarily responsible for the protection and daily care of their children. Coherent social protection polices to bolster families and to mitigate against risks that compromise parenting are essential for the protection of child rights. Our main goal is to build an evidence base on what kind of family and parenting support works, under what conditions and for whom, in order to promote child well-being in different national contexts. Building on insights from our publication Family and Parenting Support: Policy and Provisions in the Global Context, our current research questions focus on: How raising adolescents is understood and practiced in Eastern and Southern Africa? What social, economic and factors facilitate positive parenting in highly vulnerable families? How do policy, service delivery, social and economic factors impact the effectiveness and scalability of  the Sinovuyo teen parent support programme in Eastern Cape, South Africa?  And, How are child rights  realized through family and parenting support in European contexts? Research partners include the Oxford Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University College London and the National University of Ireland

Publications

Relevance, Implementation and Impact of the Sinovuyo Teen Parenting Programme in South Africa
Publication Publication

Relevance, Implementation and Impact of the Sinovuyo Teen Parenting Programme in South Africa

This report summarizes research findings on the impact of the Sinovuyo Teen Parenting programme piloted in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, between November 2014 and September 2016. The research consists of a qualitative study on the programme facilitators, conducted in 2014; and a ramdomized control trial with a complementary qualitative study, which was conducted between 2015 and 2016. The quantitative findings, detailed here, sum up responses provided by programme participants one month after programme completion. The participants also provided inputs five to nine months later; those inputs are published separately. Besides highlighting the impact of the parenting programme, the report describes the perceptions and experiences of participants and programme implementers. The report also discusses key policy and service delivery implications that need to be considered in taking the programme to scale in South Africa and beyond.
Delivering a Parenting Programme in Rural South Africa: The Local Child and Youth Care Worker Experience
Publication Publication

Delivering a Parenting Programme in Rural South Africa: The Local Child and Youth Care Worker Experience

A pre-post study examining the effectiveness of a parenting support programme in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, showed reductions in child abuse, child delinquency, parent and child depression, parenting stress and substance use. It also showed improvements in parental supervision, positive parenting and social support. In addition to the pre-post study, a qualitative enquiry was conducted with the programme facilitators. This paper explores the experiences and perception of local child and youth care workers, who were trained to deliver the parenting programme in vulnerable, semi-rural communities. The purpose of this publication is to make recommendations on how to improve the programme for scale-up, in South Africa and beyond.
Parenting Interventions: How well do they transport from one country to another?
Publication Publication

Parenting Interventions: How well do they transport from one country to another?

UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti has worked on research related to support for families and parents since 2013. In particular, Innocenti supported research on the Sinovuyo Caring Families Programme for Parents and Teens, by partnering with Oxford University in doing qualitative research that examined service delivery mechanisms and implications for taking it to scale.
Parenting, Family Care and Adolescence in East and Southern Africa: An evidence-focused literature review
Publication Publication

Parenting, Family Care and Adolescence in East and Southern Africa: An evidence-focused literature review

Based on an evidence-focused literature review, this paper examines existing knowledge on raising adolescents in east and southern African countries, including Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Country selection was based on the availability of relevant literature and data. The vast majority of studies on parenting and adolescent development is based on research from the global north. This research sought to deepen understandings of family life, care practices and support networks in the east and southern African region so as to inform policy and interventions that seek to improve adolescent-family relations and reduce risk behaviours. An evidence-informed model for understanding the ecology of adolescent-parent relationships in the cultural and economic contexts of the region is provided. In addition, a framework for exploring contextually-relevant dimensions of parenting through research and practice is offered.