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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.
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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.


Jenny Doubt; Heidi Loening-Voysey; Lucie Cluver; Jasmina Byrne; Yulia Shenderovich; Divane Nzima; Barnaby King; Sally Medley; Janina Steinert; Olivia O'Malley

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.


Heidi Loening-Voysey; Jenny Doubt; Barnaby King; Lucie Cluver; Jasmina Byrne


Physical, Emotional and Sexual Adolescent Abuse Victimisation in South Africa: Prevalence, incidence, perpetrators and locations (2016)

F. Meinck, F. Cluver, M. Boyes, Heidi Loening-Voysey
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2016-10, vol. 70 (9), pp. 910-916.


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