(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.
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.
‘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.