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Heidi Loening-Voysey

Former Specialist (Former title)

Heidi has extensive experience as a social worker and Child Protection Officer working with orphans and other vulnerable children. With a background in mental health, GBV and social security, Heidi’s research focuses on family and parenting support within the framework of the adolescent wellbeing programme. Her role includes liaising with case study country offices and linking with external partners and research institutions to contribute to the evidence base on adolescent wellbeing. She joined the OoR in March 2015, from UNICEF South Africa.

Publications

“It empowers to attend.” Understanding how participants in the Eastern Cape of South Africa experienced a parent support programme: A qualitative study
Publication Publication

“It empowers to attend.” Understanding how participants in the Eastern Cape of South Africa experienced a parent support programme: A qualitative study

Parenting interventions can dramatically reduce violence against children and improve a child’s future. Yet in the past, research has mainly focused on young children in high-income countries, and most of the research has only used quantitative methodology. By contrast, this qualitative study focuses on teenagers and their caregivers who attended a parenting programme in South Africa, contributing to a small but growing body of research on parent support programmes for teenagers in low and middle-income countries. The research examines the Sinovuyo Teen Parenting programme, which was developed and tested between 2012 and 2016 in South Africa. The main qualitative study was carried out in the last year (2015–2016) and is the focus of this paper. It complements a cluster randomized controlled trial. This qualitative study captures the experiences of teenagers and parents who attended the Sinovuyo Teen Parenting programme in 2015. Importantly, the study gives an insight into how the caregivers and teenagers changed as a result of participating in the study. Findings show that both caregivers and teenagers valued the programme and their participation fostered better family relations and reduced violence at home. Their views are important for practitioners, programme implementers and researchers working in violence prevention and child and family welfare. More research is needed, however, to show whether these changes can be sustained.
Policy and service delivery implications for the implementation and scale-up of an adolescent parent support programme: a qualitative study in Eastern Cape, South Africa
Publication Publication

Policy and service delivery implications for the implementation and scale-up of an adolescent parent support programme: a qualitative study in Eastern Cape, South Africa

This paper examines a four-year evidence-based study on an adolescent parenting support pilot programme known as Sinovuyo1 Teen. The parenting support programme aims to reduce violence inside and outside the home in a poor rural community in Eastern Cape, South Africa. This is one of the four working papers looking at data from a qualitative study that complemented a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT). Both the study and the trial were conducted during the last year of the parenting support programme. The research question was: What are the policy and service delivery requirements and implications for scaling up the Sinovuyo Teen Parenting programme in South Africa and beyond? The primary data for this paper were collected through semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) with key stakeholders, including programme implementers. Thematic analysis identified four themes, three of which are presented in this paper: programme model; programme fit in a service delivery system; and programme in local cultural and policy context. Although the findings show the Sinovuyo Teen Parenting programme was positively viewed, if it were to be scaled up and sustainable, the intervention would need to be grounded in established policies and systems.
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.

Journal articles

Physical, Emotional and Sexual Adolescent Abuse Victimisation in South Africa: Prevalence, incidence, perpetrators and locations
Journal Article Journal Article

Physical, Emotional and Sexual Adolescent Abuse Victimisation in South Africa: Prevalence, incidence, perpetrators and locations

Podcasts

Heidi Loening-Voysey podcast on parenting and adolescence in eastern and southern Africa