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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

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

LATEST PUBLICATIONS

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.

AUTHOR(S)

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.

AUTHOR(S)

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

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.

AUTHOR(S)

Heidi Loening-Voysey; Jenny Doubt; Divane Nzima; Yulia Shenderovich; Janina Steinert; Jasmina Byrne; Lucie Cluver

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.

AUTHOR(S)

Frances Gardner

This working paper presents findings from the analyses of two different observational studies of caregiver-pre-adolescent and caregiver-adolescent dyads.

AUTHOR(S)

Sachin De Stone; Franziska Meinck; Lorraine Sherr; Lucie Cluver; Jenny Doubt; Frederick Mark Orkin; Caroline Kuo; Amogh Sharma; Imca Hensels; Sarah Skeen; Alice Redfern; Mark Tomlinson

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.

AUTHOR(S)

Rachel Bray; Andrew Dawes

Advocacy and action for adolescents have been hampered by the lack of a concrete results framework that can be used to describe the state of the world’s adolescents and serve as a basis for goals and targets. In order to fill this gap, UNICEF, in collaboration with key partners, is facilitating the development of an outcome-based framework that incorporates the key dimensions of an adolescent’s life and a proposed set of globally comparable indicators that will provide a common platform to track the progress of adolescent development and well-being. The domains that have been selected for measurement are: health and well-being, education and learning, safety and protection, participation, transition to work.

AUTHOR(S)

Prerna Banati; Judith Diers

This publication seeks to develop a research agenda on family support and parenting support globally. An integrated and life-course approach to children is taken, considering their situation and a range of outcomes for them at different stages of their growth and development. Part 2 consists of nine country case studies.

AUTHOR(S)

Mary Daly

CO-AUTHOR(S)

Zlata Bruckhauf; Jasmina Byrne; Ninoslava Pecnik; Maureen Samms-Vaughan; Rachel Bray; Alice Margaria

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