The Home-Start program is a home visiting intervention in which volunteers with child care experience give support to struggling families with children younger than five years of age. Home-Start targets families and mothers with little experience or social support network, who may have minor but not serious physical or mental health issues. Entry and exit to the Home-Start programme is entirely voluntary and all visits are at the convenience of participating families. It aims to reduce the stress of parenting and encourage families, especially families at risk for child abuse and neglect, so that a nurturing environment for their children may be created.
A Home-Start volunteer from the local community visits the family home for a few hours each week until the youngest child turns five or the family decides to exit from the program. On average, volunteers visit families for 6 months, and visits last for around 3-4 hours. The volunteers give emotional support and assistance with household tasks and outings as needed by each family. The volunteers provide friendship, encouragement, and an example of affectionate child care behaviour.
The program was founded in 1973 in the UK and has expanded into 22 countries around the world, including the Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Hungary, and The Netherlands. There are 314 local schemes of Home-Start UK located in the United Kingdom and in British Forces Germany and Cyprus.
The Incredible Years Preschool Basic parent programme consists of eight to twelve weeks of 2-2.5 hour parenting sessions designed to teach parents how to recognise and treat their child’s emotional and behavioural problems through positive parenting. This programme can be used for parents of preschool children who already have or are at-risk to develop conduct problems (including antisocial behaviour, frequent anger, and a propensity towards violence).
The Triple P—Positive Parenting Programme is a multilevel system of family intervention that aims to prevent severe emotional and behavioral disturbances in children by promoting positive and nurturing relationships between parent and child. According to the Triple P developers, apart from improving parenting skills, "the programme aims to increase parents' sense of competence in their parenting abilities, improve couples' communication about parenting, and reduce parenting stress. The acquisition of specific parenting competencies results in improved family communication and reduced conflict that in turn reduces the risk that children will develop a variety of behavioral and emotional problems" (Sanders, Turner, et al., 2002).
The programme has five intervention levels of increasing intensity and targeting, ranging from a community-wide media information campaign designed to reach all parents to an intervention for families identified as being at risk for child maltreatment. The programme aims to engage the participating parent in the minimally sufficient intervention required in order to identify and improve parenting skills (Sanders, 1999).
This summary focuses on “Level 4” of the five levels, because this is the only level that has been evaluated in studies that meet the evidence criteria for inclusion on this site. Level 4 can be delivered as a 10 session individual training programme or an 8 session group training programme focusing on teaching parents a range of parenting skills to target behavioral problems both in and outside the home.
A Stop Smoking in School Trial (ASSIST) is an intervention aimed at spreading and sustaining non-smoking behaviours through school social networks that targets children in grade 8 (12-13 years old). The phases of the intervention include: 1) nomination of peer supporters, 2) recruitment of peer supporters,3) training of peer supporters, 4) intervention period, and 5) acknowledgement of peer supporters’ contributions. Potential peer supporters are first identified as students who received the most nominations on a questionnaire in which students identify influential peers. The 2-day training is conducted outside of school and focuses on teaching peer supporters how to have informal conversations with their peers about smoking. During the 10-week intervention period, peer supporters undertake informal conversations with other students about smoking and log their conversations. During the intervention, trainers provide additional support through four in-school visits. ASSIST was first pilot tested in 1996 in six schools in South Wales. Early Adopters started rolling out the programme in 2007 and in 2010, DECIPHer Impact Ltd, a non-profit spinout company was set up by the University of Bristol and Cardiff University to distribute ASSIST more widely. It is currently being implemented in 27 Local Authority areas across the United Kingdom including the whole of Wales, England and the Channel Islands. Scotland has recently announced that they are going to be setting up a pilot of ASSIST starting in 2014.
Bright Start is a programme for cognitive education for children aged 3-6 years old, especially those at high risk of school failure based on social circumstances such as ethnic minority, inner city residence, and low socio-economic status (SES) group. The programme supplements traditional preschool and kindergarten curricula. The curriculum is designed to promote a set of cognitive functions including self-regulation in response to instructions, comparison, verbal labelling, precision and accuracy in data-gathering, systematic exploratory behaviour, and spatial referents (such as ‘left’ and ‘right’) through eight units of 20-25 small-group lessons each on the topics of self-regulation, number concepts, comparison, role-taking, classification, patterns and sequences, letter-shape concepts, and (recently added) transformation (Brooks & Haywood, 2003; Paour & Cèbe, 2000).
Bright Start is delivered in kindergarten and preschool settings in a form of small-group lessons for 5-6 students at a time. The lessons are between 20 and 30 minutes and consist of exercises with detailed instructions for teaching a constructive lesson with a questioning technique. Lessons consist of one topic at a time, but include an initial task and a variation to help the children understand the range of application of the lesson’s problem-solving concept. Later in the same day, the teacher presents tasks to the entire class requiring the same cognitive function as in the small-group lesson with more academic content such as spelling or math. At the end of the day, the teacher asks the children to remember the cognitive function discussed that day and to summarize what they have learned. Children are also encouraged to evaluate themselves on whether they have accomplished the lesson tasks and justify whether they have been successful.
The Bright Start programme and curriculum was developed by H. C. Haywood, P.H. Brooks, and S. Burns at Vanderbilt University in the United States, building on the cognitive developmental work of Piaget, Vygotsky, Haywood, and Feuerstein and other experts in cognitive function and mediational teaching. It was first implemented in the early 1980’s in Nashville, Tennessee and Seattle, Washington in the United States and soon after in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, France. It has also been implemented in Canada, Israel, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Singapore, Iceland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Ghana, and the Netherlands. The Bright Start programme has been evaluated with evidence for positive outcomes in France, Belgium, Spain, Israel, Singapore, Canada and the United States.
Catch Up® Literacy is a UK-based, structured, book-based, one-to-one literacy intervention for learners in aged 6 to 14 who experience reading difficulties. Its main objective is to improve word recognition and language comprehension skills for children who have been struggling to learn to read. The intervention is based on providing children who are facing reading challenges with one-to-one (individual support) 15-minute sessions twice a week.
The Catch Up Literacy intervention is divided into four stages. In the first stage, assessments for learning are conducted in order to identify the focus for intervention and thus target it to the needs of the individual child. In the second stage, a book with the appropriate level of difficulty is chosen; the choice is informed by the outcomes of the assessment conducted in stage one. In the third stage, the child attends two 15-minute individual sessions per week, during which the child reads the chosen book and then undertakes a related writing activity which addresses one of he identified miscues. Finally, in the fourth stage, the child’s progress is continuously monitored to ensure that the intervention keeps on fulfilling the child’s changing needs.
The Community Mothers’ Programme was first started in 1988 in Dublin by the Health Service Executive, a public organization responsible for the provision of healthcare and personal social services for everyone living in Ireland.
The programme targets first-time parents living in disadvantaged areas and is aimed at providing support and encouragement to first-time parents through home visits from “community mothers”.
It focuses on promoting parent capacity and parent empowerment, specifically by developing of parenting skills and enhancing parents’ self-esteem. Some of the methods used include the promotion of parents’ potential through a behavioural approach in which parents are encouraged to stimulate, breast-feed, and praise their children, as well as ensure their safety. The Community Mothers Programme also uses illustrated sequences to trigger discussions on healthy and developmentally appropriate means of coping with various child-rearing challenges.
Community mothers are volunteers who were first identified by local public health nurses. They are then interviewed by a regional family development nurse to assess their suitability. After being identified as suitable candidates, community mothers undergo four weeks of training before starting to work under the guidance of a family development nurse. This training focuses on health care, nutritional improvement and overall child development. The work of community mothers consists in monitoring between five and fifteen families during monthly home visits during the first year of the child’s life (Johnson, Z., Howell, F., and Molloy, B., 1993).
The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is a means-tested conditional cash transfer programme which pays a cash benefit to each student in families with annual incomes of £30,000 or below who remain in school beyond age 16. The program is intended to encourage participation in full-time education. During the pilot study which was evaluated, the maximum weekly EMA payment was only available to students in families with annual incomes at £13,000 or below, with students in families with incomes between £13,000 and £30,000 receiving proportionately less each week. Students in families with incomes greater than £30,000 per year were not eligible for the programme. A “retention bonus” was also given at the end of each term that the student completed, and an “achievement bonus” was offered to students who successfully completed their course examinations. The bonuses were not means-tested and were obtainable by all students eligible for the programme. In the current versions of the programme, the maximum family income has been lowered to £20,351-£20,817 for families with one eligible child and £22,403-£23,077 for families with more than one eligible child, depending on whether they live in Scotland, Northern Ireland, or Wales. The programme currently applies to students age 16-19. The retention bonus has been eliminated. Two achievement bonus payments of £100 are attainable in the Northern Ireland version of the programme but no achievement bonus is offered in the other locations.
The European Drug Abuse Prevention Trial (EU-Dap) is an experimental evaluation of a school-based drug abuse prevention programme conducted in seven EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Sweden).
The programme, Unplugged, uses a comprehensive social-influence approach to reduce use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs among 12-14 year old students. In the literature, this approach has been repeatedly shown to “reduce onset of use or significantly reduce cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana consumption” among young people (Sussman 2004). Specifically, the Unplugged programme consists of 12 one-hour units taught by classroom teachers who have previously received a 2.5 day training course on the programme material.
Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is an evidence-based treatment based on recognition of risk and protective factors involved in the development of conduct problems by children and teenagers. It was founded in the 1970s by James F. Alexander and other researchers at the University of Utah, U.S. FFT is a relatively inexpensive three-phased approach drawing on a multisystemic perspective, starting with engagement and motivation phase aimed at enhancing the perception that change is possible, followed by behaviour change phase improving communication within family and parent behaviour, and concluding by generalisation phase, in which the family learns to utilise the new skills in other situations. The effectiveness of FFT is fairly well established in the U.S. where the treatment led to reduction in typical recidivism rates by 20-30 percent compared to control groups.
The KiVa programme is a school-wide approach to decreasing the incidence and negative effects of bullying on student well-being at school. The programme’s impact is measured through self and peer-rated reports of bullying, victimization, defending victims, feeling empathy towards victims, bystanders reinforcing bullying behaviour, anxiety, self-esteem, depression, liking school, and academic motivation and performance, among other factors. The programme is based on the idea that how peer bystanders behave when witnessing bullying plays a critical role in perpetuating or ending the incident. As a result, the intervention is designed to modify peer attitudes, perceptions, and understanding of bullying. The programme specifically encourages students to support victimised peers rather than embolden bullying behaviour and, furthermore, provides teachers and parents with information about how to prevent and address the incidence of bullying.
The Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Programme (NIDCAP) offers an individualized and nurturing approach to the care of infants in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and special care nurseries (SCN). It is a relationship-based, family-centered approach that promotes the idea that infants and their families are collaborators in developing an individualized program of support to maximize physical, mental, and emotional growth and health and to improve long-term outcomes for preterm and high medical risk newborns.
The New Forest Parenting Programme offers training for parents of children under the age of 3 exhibiting ADHD symptoms. The programme consists of 8 weekly two-hour, one-on-one in-home training sessions for parents to learn about ADHD and how to manage their child’s behaviour. Half of the sessions are for the parent and child together and the rest are for the parent alone. The programme was originally developed and implemented in Southampton, United Kingdom. The main points of the parental training include routines, countdowns, reminders, voice control, and identifying distractions. Each week builds on the previous week. The content of the 8 home visiting sessions is described as follows in Sonuga-Barke, et al., 2001:
1. Discuss characteristics of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, acceptance of child, effectiveness of simple interventions, commanding and retaining attention, and eye contact. Emphasize importance of praise. Introduce behavioural diary.
2. Reinforce message from week 1. Look at diary and discuss parent’s feelings about behaviour during week. Emphasize importance of clear messages, routine, countdowns, reminders, boundaries and limit-setting, and avoiding confrontation.
3. Reinforce messages from previous weeks. Examine diaries and discuss parent’s feelings. Discuss temper tantrums; emphasize firmness and voice control, avoiding threats, and the power of distraction
4. Reinforce messages from previous weeks and ensure that they have been implemented. Introduce concepts of time out and quiet time.
5. Review weeks 1—4, focusing on problems identified and solutions given. Assess parent’s ability to implement strategies. Review diaries, isolate examples, and discuss how parents cope.
6. & 7. Observe parents and children in interaction for 15 minutes. Give feedback to parent on observation especially in relation to quality of interaction. Underline the importance of behavioural techniques discussed and illustrate with examples from the previous weeks.
8. Reinforce messages from previous weeks. Focus on one or two of the key areas of particular concern for each client. Diaries should be used to identify these and to provide examples of good practice.
The North Karelia Youth Project offered a community and school-based educational intervention for seventh graders (students aged 13) to decrease the social desirability of smoking and coach them to resist peer, adult, and media pressure to smoke. The goal of the program was to decrease the number of children who would start smoking for the first time and reduce all the lifetime exposure to tobacco for all children in the program area. Two versions of the intervention were each implemented at an urban and a rural school in North Karelia County in Finland.
In the first version of the intervention, peer leaders from the eighth and ninth grades (students aged 14 and 15) and program staff delivered 10 sessions of the program. In the second version, teachers were trained and instructed to deliver 5 sessions of the program. The program included information about a nutritionally healthy diet and the health hazards of smoking as well as demonstration and role-playing to handle social pressure to smoke. During the time of the school intervention, a community intervention for adults was taking place through mass media channels and community organizations.
A second North Karelia Youth Project involving smoking, alcohol abuse, exercise and nutrition was implemented subsequently, and a description of that program can be found in the user registry.
This programme consisted of an invitation for 2-5 year old children and their parents to visit an outreach facility in a local shopping area for individualized dietary advice and oral health maintenance instructions, including tooth brushing. Parents were instructed to brush their child’s teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice daily. For 2 year olds, parents were instructed to give the child one fluoride tablet daily after evening tooth brushing, and for 3-5 year olds parents were instructed to give the child two tablets daily, after morning and after evening tooth brushing. Fluoride tablets and toothbrushes were given to the parents at no cost, and toothpaste was offered at a discounted price. Parents and children were asked to return to the outreach facility every three months between age 2 and 3 and every six months between age 3 and age 5. For parents not fluent in Swedish, translators were available, if requested. The programme operated as a supplement to the local public dental service, so that children received normal preventative and restorative measures according to their individual needs. In Sweden, all normal dental care for children younger than 19 is free from the Public Dental Service. This oral health outreach programme operated originally in the low socioeconomic, multicultural suburban area of Rosengård in Malmö, Sweden where the water had low fluoride content, between 2000 and 2004. It continues to operate in the Rosengård area and three other districts of Malmö as well as several other towns in Sweden.
The Parents Plus Early Years Programme (PPEY) is a 12-week parenting course for parents of 1 to 6 year old children, especially designed for parents to learn to manage their child’s behavioural problems or mild developmental disabilities. The course consists of seven, two-hour group meetings with 8-12 parents and 1-2 facilitators, and five individual sessions with parents, child and a therapist.
Sweden has implemented several reforms to their parental leave policy, with the aim of increasing the sharing of parental leave among mothers and fathers. Since 1974, Swedish parents have been able to take up to six months of paid leave after the birth of a child under the country’s parental leave insurance. The pay was equivalent to 90-percent of the parent’s earnings or was set at a flat rate if the parent had no prior earnings. Initially, parents could share this leave time as they preferred (i.e., one parent could take six months leave, both parents could take three months leave, or some other combination adding up to six months). By the 1990s, the allotted time had been extended to twelve months paid leave based on earnings and an additional three months paid at a flat rate. From the mid-nineties through 2008, Sweden enacted several additional reforms to parental leave insurance aimed at encouraging more gender equality in leave time among fathers and mothers. In 1995, one month of leave was reserved for each parent (i.e., if a given parent chose not to use his or her month of leave, that month was forfeited and the other parent could take only eleven months of leave). In 2002, this reserved leave was extended to two months per parent. Also in 2002, however, the full amount of leave time was increased to sixteen months (thirteen months at the earnings-related rate plus three months at a flat rate). This implied that although an additional month was reserved for each parent, the other parent could still take up to fourteen months of leave (Duvander and Johansson, 2010).
This National Department of Health screening program in the Netherlands applied a diagnostic questionnaire (the VroegTijdige Onderkenning Ontwikkelingsstoornissen Language Screening instrument; VTO) for language delays to parents and their toddlers aged 15-18 months and again at 24 months. Children with positive screening indications were sent to speech and hearing centres for further assessment. The speech and hearing centres then referred children to standard early treatment services as necessary. 55 child health centres in six geographic regions participated. The child health centres provide free services from the Department of Health and are available to all Dutch children.
"Second Step: A Violence Prevention Programme" is a classroom-based social skills curriculum for students from preschool through middle school. The curriculum aims to reduce impulsive and aggressive behaviors and increase protective factors and social-emotional competence. Organized by grade level, the programme teaches children empathy, problem-solving skills, risk assessment, decision-making, and goal-setting skills. The Second Step programme is classified as a universal intervention, meaning that it is appropriate for whole classrooms of children and not just those at risk. In Norway, this programme has been translated and implemented as Steg for Steg.
Second Step lessons are organized into three skill-building units that focus on empathy, impulse control and problem solving, and anger management. Lessons are sequential, developmentally appropriate, and provide opportunities for modeling, practice, and skills reinforcement. The lessons are designed to be taught in the classroom setting twice a week (Holsen et al., 2008).
The Smokefree Class Competition program began in Finland in 1989 and has been initiated in 22 European countries between 1997 and 2008. The program gives classes of pupils aged 11-14 years old the choice to become a ‘nonsmoking class’ for six months, in return for being entered in a lottery to win a class trip if at least 90% of the class remains smoke-free in each month of the competition period. The students monitor and report their own participation on a weekly basis. In some of the countries they also receive health education lessons about the effects of smoking. The rules and prizes of the competition vary slightly by country but are generally similar. The intervention is intended to reduce the number of adolescents who currently smoke or will ever smoke and delay the age at which adolescents become smokers by applying positive reinforcement to nonsmoking, making nonsmoking a popular behavior and adjusting social norms within peer groups.
Talk About Alcohol is an intervention developed in the UK for helping children age 11-18 make informed decisions about alcohol. It carries the same name as a pilot website developed in 2005 by the European Association of Communication Agencies (EACA) with the European Forum for Responsible Drinking), which was based on a programme originally developed in Sweden, however the UK Talk About Alcohol programme, developed by The Alcohol Education trust Charity is fundamentally different from the European initiative. The programme is inspired by SHARHP (Australia) and EUDAP Unplugged (EU), social norms approaches and life skills education. Talk About Alcohol is provided through schools in the United Kingdom by the Alcohol Education Trust, who support teachers, students, and their parents with resources on line and in print. The programme gives teachers materials and tools designed to encourage students to make informed decisions and rehearse strategies for challenging situations regarding alcohol use, while delaying the age of first drinking, encouraging responsible drinking behaviours, and reducing the acceptability of drinking to get drunk. The school lessons focus on alcohol health knowledge, developing self-esteem and life skills, and learning to resist peer pressure by using example scenarios, games and role-playing. The resources provided include
The Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO-A, formerly named Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care; MTFC), known as the Intensive Fostering programme in England, is designed for youth age 10-17 who are at risk of going into residential care or being incarcerated due to their serious emotional or behavioural problems.
Youths with an IQ above 70 who have been found to be in need of an out-of-home placement due to severe delinquency, criminal or antisocial behaviour are eligible for the programme whether they currently live at home with their families or in a foster or group care placement. Upon referral to the programme, the programme recommends either identifying the family with whom the youth will reside long-term after programme completion, or specifying the goal of independent living for the youth. The youth is then assigned to a placement with a local TFCO-A trained foster carer.
The TFCO-A programme consists of a daily routine of positive reinforcement through mentoring and encouragement within a clear structure, specified boundaries and consequences for behaviour, and close supervision. On a weekly basis during the programme, the team of therapists designs and oversees the child’s treatment plan in a coordinated way with the child and his or her assigned TFCO-A foster parents. Individual, professional therapists on the TFCO-A team work with each child to manage his or her feelings and behaviour and a skills coach on the team helps the child with social skills and positive recreational activities. The TFCO-A family therapist meets weekly with the child’s biological parents or the family with which the youth desires to live after completing the programme. TFCO-A foster parents receive 20 hours of training in strategies to promote positive behaviour and for limit-setting for problem behaviour, so that they can monitor the child’s behaviour daily and create an environment for the child as directed by the TFCO-A team’s Programme Supervisor on a week-to-week basis. The child’s school teacher fills out a daily card indicating the child’s full attendance for the school day. The TFCO-A foster parent also assigns points to the child for positive behaviours like completing chores and getting to school on time, and removes points if the child misbehaves or fails to complete tasks for which he or she is responsible. If the child successfully progresses through the program and the identified long-term placement parents participate in family therapy to learn parent management strategies, in 9-12 months they may exit the programme and move back in with their parents or previously identified alternative carers.
The programme model was first implemented in Oregon in the USA in 1983 by Patricia Chamberlain, and it is currently also operating in the UK since 2002, Sweden since 2001, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands since the early-mid 2000’s. The programme founders are incorporated as TFC Consultants, Inc.
Zippy’s Friends is a 24-week-long, universal school-based programme designed to help children (between six and eight years of age) to cope better with everyday adversities. In other words, the main goal of the programme is to prevent psychological problems by increasing children’s range of coping skills. The programme is distributed globally through the non-profit organisation Partnership for Children and currently operates in 29 countries (i.e. Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, England and Wales, Haiti, Iceland, India, Ireland, Jordan, Lithuania, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Reunion, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Trinidad & Tobago, USA)
The programme is based on six stories about three characters, their families and friends and an imaginary stick insect named Zippy; through their everyday joys, problems and sorrows the children explore themes related to communication, relations, emotions, friendships, conflict and conflict resolution. The programme’s materials, which are used during the 24 weekly lessons, include six stories about Zippy and his friends (covering the six aforementioned themes), large coloured posters illustrating those stories and detailed lesson plans for teachers. During the lessons, children are encouraged to interact through tasks and discussions within a structured programme, take part in dialogues and share their experiences and perceptions. Thus, rather than focusing on helping children to cope individually with their problems, the programme highlights the importance of talking and listening to others as well as receiving and giving help.
In particular, each session has specific objectives which are achieved through 2 or 3 participatory activities; furthermore, as repetition is of key importance in the programme, each session begins with a review of what the children have learned in the previous session.
Aktion Glasklar is an intervention program to combat youth drinking in Germany. It was first implemented in the state of Schleswig-Holstein in early 2006 and has since been continued under the leadership of Deutsche Angestellten Krankenkasse (DAK) all throughout Germany. The focus of the program is to interact with students and to actively deter them from consuming alcohol at a young age.
The Aprender em Parceria (A PAR) Programme is an early childhood intervention and parenting support programme (complementing crèche or nursery education). A PAR uses parents as a starting point to develop and recognise their own skills and potential, so as to contribute to the process of adult empowerment.
Catch Up® Numeracy is a fairly non-intensive intervention (consisting of two 15-minute sessions delivered twice a week by classroom assistants who have undergone three half-days training sessions). The intervention is designed to address relatively mild persistent numeracy difficulties; in different words, the intervention is intended for children who already have some knowledge and understanding of numbers but are below the attainment level expected of their age cohort. The intervention was launched in 2007 by the not-for-profit UK charity, Catch Up®, and since then it has been implemented in over 47 local authorities across England and Wales.
The intervention largely builds upon the Numeracy Recovery research while also combining some elements from the Catch Up® Literacy intervention. Namely, from the former, the intervention designers have adopted a simplified version of the componential view of arithmetic - which assumes that mathematical development involves potentially independent and separately developing skills and processes; thus, the intervention divides arithmetical ability into various components, which children are assessed against, and then tailors intervention according to the outcomes of the assessment - while the structure of the intervention has been based on the latter. Similarly to Catch Up Literacy,
Catch Up Numeracy consists of four stages and is delivered through three-part 15-minute individual sessions taking place twice a week. It also has the same levels of attainment.
The children’s progress throughout the intervention is scaffolded on two dimensions: individual components of numeracy and the levels of attainment.
Comet (COMmunication METhod; Komet in Swedish) is a standardized programme designed for parents of children age 3-11 whose children display negative behaviours, such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD), or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Comet combines components from other evidence based parent-training practices for oppositional defiance (Barkley, R., 1997; Webster-Stratton, 1996; and Bloomquist and Schnell, 2002). The programme is delivered in eleven weekly 2.5 hour sessions and one follow-up session, each facilitated by two trained group leaders. In Kling, et al., 2010, there were between 3 and 10 parents participating in each group. The sessions include instruction from the facilitators, short video segments showing parent-child interactions, role-playing, and assignment of homework to practice specific concepts with their child for the next week.
This programme was implemented in 13 publicly funded schools in Terrassa, a city in the Barcelona metropolitan area of Spain for students aged 13. The programme consisted of one 90 minute ML session discussing media literacy, critical thinking about the feminine Aesthetic-Beauty Model of extreme thinness, and awareness of historical, cross-cultural and media conceptions of beauty. Some classes also participated in a 90 minute NUT session discussing nutrition and balanced eating. Male and female students participated in their usual classroom setting as the programme was delivered in weekly sessions over the course of up to two weeks.
The intervention attempts to reduce familial risk of dyslexia (severe reading disability that cannot be explained by factors such as intelligence, insufficient schooling, or sensory deficits) for 5 and 6 years old children through home-based intervention consisting of 10-minute sessions 5 days a week for 14 weeks focusing on phoneme awareness and letter knowledge in the year prior to formal reading instruction. The earlier studies (Hallgren 1950) estimated that the probability that a child, with one dyslectic parent, will become dyslectic can be as high as 41%; the intervention is therefore aimed specifically at children at higher familiar risk of reading disability. The intervention was a translation and adaptation of a Danish school-based kindergarten phoneme awareness and letter programme, ‘Towards initial reading: Phonological awareness’ (Borstrøm & Petersen, 1996) with several additions such as use of mirror and writing exercises.
The Early Years program is an integrated daycare facility that delivers flexible daycare services for children younger than 5 years of age, the age at which they can enroll in school. The intervention aimed to facilitate an increase in family earnings by supporting child daycare services for families. The program did not have a set curriculum, but emphasized the incorporation of qualified teachers and a formal education component into the services.
The Örebro Prevention Program (currently known as EFFEKT) works through parents and by targeting drinking among 13–16-year-olds (i.e. Junior high school pupils in grades 7–9). The 2.5-year programme, which was designed in Örebro County, Sweden, has been funded by the Swedish National Institute of Public Health. This has been part of its initiative for universal youth alcohol prevention programmes, which are to be implemented community-wide; target youths at ages during which drinking increases; work in both urban and rural communities; make use of existing community resources; and bring together different agencies and relevant parties.
The programme design and implementation were largely based on empirical findings demonstrating a negative correlation between levels of youth alcohol drinking and (i) the strictness levels of parental attitudes against youth alcohol consumption as well as (ii) the level of youth involvement in structured, adult-led activities. Thus, the core of the programme has been based on parents receiving information (by mail and during parent meetings at the schools) encouraging them to maintain strict attitudes against youth alcohol use as well as encouraging their youth’s involvement in adult-led, organized activities. The programme was designed to be implemented in both urban and rural areas.
The gesunde KITAs – starke Kinder, or Healthy Nursery Centers - Strong Children program’s goal is to fight the childhood obesity epidemic in Germany by prevention, particularly among pre-school children. In order to do so, the program teaches children a mix of balanced nutrition, movement, and relaxation, and also fosters an ongoing health dialogue with parents. As opposed to previous anti-obesity programs, Healthy Nurseries puts a strong emphasis on ex-ante prevention and teaching of a healthy way of living, by connecting and integrating the four project components outlined above. After an initial introductory phase of 12-15 months, the components become part of the center’s daily routine. Final implementation is at the discretion of the program staff at a particular site.
Lifestart is a structured child-centred programme of information and practical activity for parents of children aged from birth to five years of age, conceived by the Lifestart Foundation. It is delivered to parents in their own homes by trained, paid Family Visitors and it is offered to parents regardless of social, economic or other circumstances.
Every parent who joins the Lifestart programme receives a monthly issue based on the Growing Child curriculum (www.growingchild.com) and a 30-60 minute home visit from a Lifestart family visitor. Together the issues of the Growing Child and the visit provide age-specific information on what parents can do with their child and what developmentally appropriate materials they might use. The home visit also offers the opportunity to discuss progress during the last month and focus attention according to the family’s needs. The Lifestart programme is based on a logic model, which depicts how the programme is thought to work (please refer to the Lifestart logic model in Miller et al, 2015, p.15). The programme was implemented in Northern Ireland (United Kingdom) and the Republic of Ireland.
According to evidence submitted to the European Platform for Investing in Children User Registry, the programme costs £650 to implement in an urban setting and £750 in a rural setting.
The oral health education programme attempted to reduce caries incidence in infants through better diet and oral hygiene. The mothers were given an interview and counselling for at least 15 minutes at home every 3 months for the first 2 years and twice a year in the third year. This education was given through home visits, commencing at or soon after the time of the eruption of the first deciduous teeth. The focus on diet and oral hygiene varied among treatment groups and the advices mainly consisted of suggesting substituting bottle with feeder cup, brushing child’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and visiting a dentist regularly. The evaluation took place in the UK from 1995 to 1999 on the sample of 228 mothers with children born between 1st January and 30th September 1995 from low socio-economic/high caries suburbs of Leeds.
La Mallette des parents' [the parents' briefcase] is an ongoing project that aims to involve parents more in their children's education in around 80 schools in France. It is run by the Academie de Creteil, which comes under the direct authority of the France's Ministry for Education. The programme was set up to improve relations between parents and teachers and to help parents understand more about how their child is taught so that they can contribute to their child's success at school.
The Parents Plus Children’s Programme (PPCP) is an 8-week course for parents of 6 to 11 year old children with behavioural problems. The course consists of eight, two-hour group meetings with a group of parents and 2 facilitators. The group meetings consist of watching a set of videos of parent-child interactions, discussions, practice exercises, role-plays, homework and hand-outs.
The Parents Plus – Parenting when Separated Programme (PP-PWS) aims to help separated and divorced parents solve co-parenting problems, better communicate with their co-parent and children, and develop techniques to manage the stress and emotional impact of separation on parents and children. The programme targets separated parents in Ireland, including both mothers and fathers and both custodial and noncustodial parents.
The programme consists of 6 weekly group sessions, with groups of between 6 and 12 parents. During each 2-hour session, mental health professionals facilitate discussions about the effects of separation on children and families. The facilitators provide practical, evidence-based information about the effects of separation, help participants develop parenting and co-parenting skills, and encourage improvement of personal coping. The six sessions cover the following topics: (1) the impact of separation on parents and children; (2) how to develop a business relationship with one’s co-parent; (3) positive parenting strategies for helping children of different ages cope with separation; (4) how to manage children’s contact with the live-away parent; (5) how to remain calm during conflicts; and (6) how to cope with separation in the long term.
The PP-PWS programme was piloted at 3 sites with a total of 33 parents before the evaluation published in 2015. The pilot study demonstrated that the programme was satisfactory to parents and led to statistically significant improvements in meeting goals on the Client Goals Scales (CGS, Coughlin et al., 2009).
Parents Plus provides programme materials (a facilitator’s manual, an accompanying book with background readings, and parent booklets) and conducts facilitator trainings in Dublin, Ireland. The programme facilitator’s manual contains key psychoeducational points and a description of exercises for each session. The PP-PWS parent booklet also covers key points from each session.
PP-PWS is part of a suite of programs designed by Parents Plus, a registered charity in Dublin, Ireland. Since 1998, Parents Plus has been developing parenting and mental health courses grounded in developmental psychology. To design the PP-PWS programme, the programme authors conducted focus groups with separated parents, reviewed research on the effects of divorce on children and adults, and consulted curricula from effective psychoeducational skills-training programs and material from other Parents Plus programmes.
The “Foundation” Parents Early Education Partnership (PEEP) programme (also called the Peers Early Education Partnership) is intended to boost the numeracy, literacy, pro-social behaviour and self-esteem of disadvantaged children for ages 3-4. The larger PEEP programme is designed for children from infancy to 5 years, including separate curricula for different ages. It consists of a series of curricula for different ages.
The Foundation PEEP programme was first implemented in 1995 in Oxford, UK and has been implemented on a continuing basis since its inception. For ages 3-4, the programme includes weekly group meetings for parents, children, and siblings for 33 weeks per year during the school year. Each 1-hour meeting session is in two parts, the first of which is a parent discussion of the pre-arranged topic of the week from the PEEP curriculum while the children play in another area of the room supervised by the group assistant. Extension ideas from the curriculum appropriate for 4 year olds are offered to families with 4 year olds. In the second part, families reunite for ‘circle time’ with entire group to share songs, rhymes and stories which are often linked to the first part topic. After the group session families may borrow ‘play packs’ of home activities and books to take home.
The programme is offered through nurseries, preschools, playgroups, and freestanding PEEP groups. Staff who lead PEEP groups are trained for PEEP in nine, consecutive, two-hour sessions and then in an ongoing monthly training, covering topics which include the PEEP curriculum, philosophy, structure, and support for speech, language, postnatal depression, personal safety, and child development. The PEEP charity operates offices in Oxford and Edinburgh and offers training for childcare practitioners from other regions.
This intervention was based on peer group pressure and social influence to prevent smoking. The intervention focused on students in junior secondary education (this is what is meant by ‘lower education’ in the title) and was implemented in twenty six schools throughout the Netherlands. It consisted of three lessons on knowledge, attitudes, and social influence, followed by a class agreement not to start or to stop smoking for five months and a class based competition. Admission to the competition was dependent on having a class with less than 10% smokers after five months. The intervention is similar to the Smokefree Class Competition programme implemented across 22 European countries. The authors added some lessons on attitude and social influence. Two extra video lessons on smoking and social influence were available as an optional extra during these five months. Researchers approached these schools directly and gave them a brief explanation about the intervention in order to motivate them to participate. Eighteen schools agreed to do so. The other eight schools (26 in total) were recruited through four other community health services that approached the schools themselves. Baseline data was obtained through questionnaires administered directly to the students. Data for background characteristics was also obtained through these questionnaires. The Dutch National Institute against Smoking (Stivoro) and The Dutch National Institute on mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos Institute) developed and conducted the intervention together with the schools. Stivoro looked at the adherence of schools to the intervention protocol, and collected the registration forms and other documents. Evaluation was conducted by the authors of this paper.
Pro Children intervention combined fruit and vegetable (FV) curriculum with efforts to improve FV availability at schools and at home. The intervention consisted of a classroom component including a set of sixteen worksheets with guided activities and a web-based computer-tailored feedback tools; school component including provision of fruit and vegetables either for free, by means of a subscription programme, or as part of school meals; family component encouraging parents to be involved through their children’s homework assignments, parental newsletters, and a parent version of the web-based tool; and optional component aiming to encourage community participation in the Pro Children project, e.g. raising awareness through local media.
The intervention was a part of a broader programme consisting of eight major work packages funded under the Fifth Framework Programme of the European Commission (more information available at http://www.prochildren.org/). The aim of the programme was to increase fruit and vegetable intake as a result of previously empirically proven positive effect of FV intake on health. The intervention was implemented in the Netherlands, Norway, and Spain and aimed at fifth and sixth graders, aged 10-13 years in 2003-2005.
Programa Juego (Play Program) for preschool children is a cooperative-creative play program designed to support creative thinking in children 4 to 6 years old. The program consists of a once-weekly 75-minute play session which is directed by the children’s regular teacher. During the session, the teacher promotes creative thinking, cooperation among children, and the importance of experimentation. The 24-session program is manualized with defined games, instructions for the teacher, and suggested questions to promote debate after the games conclude. There are a total of four Play programs, additionally including the Play program for children 6-8 years, 8-10 years, and 10-12 years, however only the preschool program is described here. The program has been in operation since 1992 in various regions of Spain.
Risk Watch is an injury prevention and safety education programme aimed at children ages three to 14 (the evaluation which studied the effects of the program assessed the impact of the program on children between the ages of 7 and 10 only). Developed by the National Fire Protection Association in the USA and adapted for use in the UK, the program aims to develop children’s risk-assessment and injury-reduction skills . The curriculum varies by age based on developmental stages as well as the risks faced by different age groups. The program focuses on eight areas of injury prevention, including:
Risk Watch is designed to be flexible in its delivery; it can be integrated into a school’s core curriculum, or can be offered as a stand-alone unit.
The school-based alcohol education was designed to change knowledge, attitudes and intentions toward underage alcohol use and abuse in middle school students. The programme was implemented in seventh grade classes of students between 12 and 15 years old at 16 secondary schools near Hamburg in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany in 2006. The programme consisted of four interactive class lessons, a booklet for students and a booklet for parents. Teachers participated in a three hour training session about the content of the intervention and the intended delivery structure. Over a three month period, teachers were to distribute a booklet containing information about alcohol and consequences of alcohol use including violence, dependence, medical and economic effects to students and a booklet containing general information about alcohol, interactions with children and behaving as role models to the students’ parents. Over the same period, teachers were to teach four class lessons, on the following subjects: legal requirements, advertisement, dealing with peer pressure, and acceptable contexts for alcohol.
Last updated: March 2014
This intervention was developed to maintain wellbeing amongst school pupils aged 12-15 in two Swedish secondary schools. The intervention introduced a weekly lesson into the school curriculum to focus on various activities designed to prevent stress and maintain well-being at school. The programme comprised both theoretical components which discussed techniques for massage, mental relaxation and general stress reduction, and practical stress reduction exercises. The practical exercises included a ‘mate-to-mate’ massage exercise, in which pupils delivered massages to one another; basic mental training, in which pupils were guided through a series of muscle relaxation exercises; and autogenic training, in which visualisation techniques were used to lead pupils through muscle tensing-relaxing states.
School-Comet (COMmunication METhod; Skol-Komet in Swedish) for teachers is a standardized behaviour management training programme to help manage individual students with externalizing behaviours and general classroom behaviour management (Forster & Karlberg, 2005). School-Comet is based on the principles of behaviour management strategies (BM), including functional behavioural assessment (FBA) which is a set of procedures developed to ascertain the reasons behind problem behaviours. School-Comet is designed for teachers of elementary school levels whose students display negative behaviours.
In March of 2006, Scotland introduced legislation that prohibited smoking in most enclosed public places. Enclosed public places are those that are more than 50% covered, including for example bars, restaurants, offices and sports stadiums. Businesses covered by the smoking ban were required to have a smoke-free policy and to display a non-smoking sign at the building’s entrance. The effects of this ban on smoking in public places on schildren’s secondhand smoke expoure were evaluated in two longitudinal studies. Study authors examined whether children’s secondhand smoke exposure decreased subsequent to the legislation. They also examined whether the ban was associated with a displacement of smoking from public places into the home, an effect which would have deleterious consequences for children’s secondhand smoke exposure. Authors found a reduction in secondhand smoke exposure and did not find a concomitant increase in smoking in the home.
This smoking cessation program was available to pregnant women smokers in two provinces of the Netherlands. Midwives from 21 midwife practices were trained on how to approach the subject of smoking and smoking cessation with their clients and supplied with a brief manual and intervention card explaining the seven-step protocol for effective counseling. The seven-step protocol includes identifying smoking behavior in the client and her partner, providing information on the short-term advantages of not smoking, discussing barriers to quitting, goal setting, providing self-help materials, agreeing on aftercare, and then following up at 8 months gestation. Midwives in the intervention gave pregnant women smokers a video, a self-help manual and a booklet for their partner about non-smoking and health counseling, in addition to a general folder from the Dutch Smoking and Health Foundation which is available online to all Dutch women beginning a pregnancy. All intervention materials were delivered upon the pregnant smoker’s first visit to her midwife.
The Social Influence Decision-Making (SI-DM) smoking prevention program was based upon the idea that attitudes, social influences and belief in one’s ability to abstain from smoking predict the intention to smoke, and ultimately smoking itself. The program aimed to educate adolescents and build skills in order to promote healthy attitudes and beliefs related to smoking.
The Social Influence Plus Boosters (SI+) smoking prevention program was based upon the idea that attitudes, social influences and belief in one’s ability to abstain from smoking predict the intention to smoke, and ultimately smoking itself.
The program aimed to educate adolescents and build skills in order to promote healthy attitudes and beliefs related to smoking.
The Social Influence (SI) smoking prevention program was based upon the idea that attitudes, social influences and belief in one’s ability to abstain from smoking predict the intention to smoke, and ultimately smoking itself. The program aimed to educate adolescents and build skills in order to promote healthy attitudes and beliefs related to smoking.
SolSano is a health education programme for sun safety implemented in primary schools in Spain. The programme has been in operation since 1999. It targets children in grades 1 and 2 (aged 6-8). The overall aim of the programme is to educate children about sun safety in order to teach children to enjoy the sun while reducing its harmful effects. The programme consists of a guide for teachers, an activity notebook for students, and a pamphlet with information on sun protection activities for children directed to their parents.
The ‘Sun healthy habits’ study aimed to evaluate the effects of using an Internet-based school intervention programme to improve sun exposure knowledge and behaviour among Spanish adolescent population. The ‘Sun healthy habits’ website was developed by the Study Committee (dermatologists, epidemiologists and specialists in education) and was structured in six sections: (i) the sun and its characteristics; (ii) sun without danger; (iii) seven sun commandments; (iv) games; (v) visits to other Webs and (vi) Who are we? The selection of content was informed by knowledge gained in a previously conducted cross-sectional study on incorrect sun habits in the population.
The Community Parent Education Program (COPE; Cunningham, 2005) is a manual-based education programme for parents of children with externalizing behaviour problems with a background of different diagnoses such as hyperactivity, inattention, and/or conduct problems. COPE aims to help parents develop skills that will enable them to deal in a positive way with difficult behaviours and to improve their communications and relationships with their children. The programme consists of group sessions of 15 to 25 parents. There are ten sessions, which occur weekly and are one hour long. COPE leaders use readings, videotapes, demonstrations, homework projects, small group exercises, and large group exercises to help parents develop problem solving skills and parental confidence. At each session, leaders teach a new strategy (e.g., strategies for ignoring minor disruptions, giving attention to positive behaviour, reward systems, planning ahead, managing transitions, and balancing time and attention between siblings). COPE is designed to be conducted in schools, recreation centres, other community locations and psychiatric clinics for children and adolescents. Because the programme can be organized within the community rather than in a psychiatric clinic, also economically disadvantaged families and families with children who have more severe behavioural problems are more likely to be supported beyond what parents and children can already obtain in the normal health care system (Cunningham, Bremnar, and Boyle 1995). In addition, the community based application of COPE has according to Cunningham et al (1995) a better cost-effectiveness ratio.
The ‘‘TigerKids’’ intervention programme was developed to enhance regular physical activity and to modify habits of food and drink consumption in preschool children. The objectives of the programme are threefold: a) to increase physical activity games at the Kindergarten setting to at least 30 min/day; b) to replace high energy density snack foods with fresh fruit and vegetables and establish consumption of at least two portions/day of vegetables and fruits as a habit; c) to replace sugared beverages with water or other non-sugared drinks (e.g. non-sugared fruit tea) in the day care and reaching a habitual consumption of not more than one glass/day of sugared drinks and juices.
VoorZorg is a home visitation programme in the Netherlands which has been adapted for the Dutch health context from the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) programme in the United States (Olds et al. 1986). It is designed to assist young pregnant women of low socio-economic status in reducing risk factors for foetal and child development as well as reduce risk of child abuse. The programme consists of approximately 10 home visits of 60-90 minutes delivered to the young mothers during pregnancy, 20 visits during the child’s first year of life and 20 visits during the child’s second year of life. Home visits are delivered by a specially trained and certified VoorZorg nurse.
Since 1971 the United Kingdom has had a system called the Family Credit, which is
designed to alleviate the tax burden on working families. Policy makers desired
to strengthen the link between this income support and working, as well as to
make the benefit more generous, so in 1999, the Working Families’ Tax Credit
(WFTC) replaced the Family Credit.