Social media a force for families

Social media and electronic gaming strategies can have an extremely positive influence on the lives of impoverished families, a study of The University of Queensland’s Triple P Online program has found.

A version of Triple P Online, the web-based version ofUQ’s Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, was ramped up with social media and gaming smarts and made available to disadvantaged families in Los Angeles.

Triple P founder Professor Matt Sanders said the enhanced version – called Triple P Online Community – was designed to encourage parents to participate in the program and share knowledge about what they had learnt.

He said the study included 155 disadvantaged high-risk parents in Los Angeles.

“Of these, 76 per cent had a family annual income of less than $US15,000, 41 per cent of parents had been incarcerated, 38 per cent were in drug and/or alcohol treatment and 24 per cent had a child removed due to maltreatment,” Professor Sanders said.

The study, led by Dr Susan Love of California State University Northridge, set out to test if gaming and social media could successfully engage this traditionally hard-to-reach population, and show benefits to both parents and children.

“The program’s 50 per cent retention rate of participants was extraordinary, given the stress the participating families would have been under just to manage daily life,” Professor Sanders said.

“More importantly, both parents and their children showed improvements likely to lead to better developmental outcomes for those children and potentially more stability and less stress in the lives of the parents.

“Participation in evidence-based parenting programs has also been shown to reduce risk factors for child maltreatment.

“A program able to engage highly vulnerable families and produce outcomes such as these shows just how important it is that researchers think creatively when it comes to finding solutions for families.”

Triple P Online Community was designed by Dr Love, former UQ-based project manager Marianne Maurange and Triple P authors at UQ’s Parenting and Family Support Centre, as well as researchers at the University of South Carolina and the Oregon Research Institute in the US.

Dr Love said one of the most rewarding aspects of the study was finding that parents in the Triple P Online Community actively encouraged each other.

“Parents in the study shared parenting tips and strategies, not just with each other, but with other family members, their friends, teachers and day care workers,’’ Dr Love said.

“They also were far more engaged than the typical social media audience, far exceeding the 90-9-1 social media rule – the idea that 90 per cent of people watch but don’t contribute to social media, nine per cent contribute occasionally and one per cent of users participate a lot.

“In our study, 50 per cent of our parents ‘lurked’ online, 32 per cent shared occasionally and 17 per cent shared frequently.’’

The study is online in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect.

To adapt or not to adapt: Paper finds Group Triple P has ‘social validity’ with African American fathers

shutterstock_219865159Practitioners should not hesitate to use Triple P with African American fathers, a paper co-authored by US researcher Patricia Kohl, of the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St Louis, concludes.

The study, published in Best Practice Mental Health, looks at the engagement of African American fathers in Group Triple P by comparing a group which was shown limited Triple P materials, including video resources, with a group who received the full intervention.

Conducted with the use of focus groups and interviews, the study found that providing fathers with only a small amount of information from program resources could actually be a barrier to potential participation – or at least perceptions of the value of the program.

Many of the fathers involved in the study spoke about initial concerns that program materials did not provide examples using African American fathers or urban settings similar to their own. However, fathers who participated in Group Triple P had a much more detailed perspective and could identify with many of the scenarios of daily life presented.

“For fathers who were exposed to the complete intervention, it appears to be a socially valid intervention,’’ Dr Kohl and co-author Kristen Seay, of the College of Social Work of the University of South Carolina, write. “However, when Triple P is used with this population, it is important to tailor examples to the circumstances of culturally diverse groups and to use language with which urban African American fathers relate.’’

The paper points out that since the early 1990s, the diversity of mothers involved in Triple P research has increased but this has not been the case for African American fathers who, until this study, remained almost completely absent from the Triple P evidence base.

The authors also describe how the highly segregated, disadvantaged urban communities in which African American fathers often must parent their children present very difficult circumstances such as high crime rates, drugs, gang violence, and few resources. But assumptions should not be made about a program’s social validity without actually asking the fathers, and those who work to support them, what they think.

“It is essential that practitioners or researchers considering the adaptation of an ESI (evidence supported intervention) to a new culturally diverse population do not make assumptions about how the target population views the intervention or about the fit between the population and the ESI,’’ the authors argue. “The voices of the target population, as well as those of other key stakeholders such as those providing services to the population, must be heard in this process (McKleroy et al, 2006).’’

Interviews with fathers from the two groups are highly contrasted in the paper. After watching a snippet of the Triple P DVD, several fathers across all five focus groups who did not participate in Triple P felt that they could not identify with several aspects of the intervention. One father said:

“When an urban neighborhood has a big crime rate, your kids don’t come home like that. Your mom ain’t cooking at home like that… . If you look at this program, you’d be like it’s not like that in this environment… . It’s a different environment.”

In contrast, fathers who received the complete intervention were far more positive. A number of examples were supplied in interviews of how they recognised themselves in the material and how they applied that information to their lives and saw a difference. One father said:

“I used to be more aggressive with them but now I am just calming down.”

After recognising his role in his child’s behavior for the first time, another said:

“After that session last week, I just went home and I just thought about everything that was going on, and I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t really so much as my kids that were giving me the problem—it was really myself that was causing all the problems.’’

The authors write: “That is a very powerful statement given that the parent is the change agent in BPT interventions. It is through changing the parent’s behavior that children’s behavior improves.’’

They conclude that more efforts are needed to understand the transportability of Triple P to African American fathers and to further explore the acceptability of Triple P by non-traditional service settings, such as father support agencies.

 

Coming full circle: Triple P as a catalyst to reconnect young Indigenous parents and children with their cultural heritage

Picture a crammed circle of chairs in a conference room, with 50 dedicated family support workers and researchers from around the world discussing how we can enhance services in Indigenous communities. What an amazing opportunity to share experiences and insights, and to engage more of the professional community in this much-needed work. The recent Helping Families Change Conference in Banff in Canada provided just that.

We don’t get the chance to do this often enough. We had the rare privilege of hearing, first hand, about the journeys of Canadian, New Zealand and Australian First Nations peoples. It was a precious hour and a half that many participants said was a healing process in itself.

We are at a point in time when reconciliation and closing the gap in health, educational and social inequality are national priorities for governments around the world.

In a recent speech to Parliament to table the 2016 Closing the Gap statement, the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, called on the words of Chris Sarra, the chairman of the Stronger Smarter Institute, to explore what would truly make a difference to Australian Indigenous lives. Quoting Chris, the Prime Minister set out the following three priorities:

“Firstly, acknowledge, embrace and celebrate the humanity of Indigenous Australians. Secondly, bring us policy approaches that nurture hope and optimism rather than entrench despair. And lastly, do things with us, not to us. Do things with us, not to us.”

These were the exact sentiments expressed by participants in our discussion group, representing diverse First Nations peoples.

There are so many parallels in the experiences of Indigenous communities that have a history of colonisation. These experiences have included, but are not limited to, displacement from country, from family, from language, from ritual, from sacred laws, from spiritual connection, from cultural identity and pride.

As researchers and practitioners working with Indigenous or First Nations families, this gathering reminded us that we need to start at the beginning of each family’s story. This means learning about and acknowledging what generations before have experienced. What traumas did they suffer? What parenting strengths and wisdom have been passed down?

Then, if we are to truly engage with families, we need to make our services appealing and accessible. Trust is the crucial thing.

Each practitioner has their own standing and relationships in community, and can develop those relationships by deepening their understanding and respect for local culture. They can engage with and learn from Elders, partner with Aboriginal organisations, and work with local champions who see the value of bringing evidence-based programs out of universities and into reality in community to give every child the best possible chance in life.

Our own research has shown that a parenting group can be a first, safe step in accessing a service agency, and can lead to parents developing the confidence and trust to access other health, mental health and community services.

Truly humbling

We’ve come a long way. I was first approached in 1996, when Triple P was brand new and dissemination was a fledging process, to look at somehow making Triple P more attractive, relevant and accessible for young Indigenous families in Brisbane.

These young parents were in trouble – with day-to-day problems coping with the law, with cultural identity, with racism, and with the struggle of living in two societies.

We consulted with community representatives locally, then state-wide, and then nationally and made steps towards making Triple P culturally sensitive and engaging.

It is truly humbling to see so many wonderful practitioners around the world take those small steps that we made in a little office in Brisbane 20 years ago and make them flourish.

It also heartens me to think that some of those first ‘Triple P babes’ have now grown up and are doing great work in their communities. A whole new generation of positive, motivated Indigenous parents.

Over the years, we have learned that success comes when communities choose when they are ready for change, and when researchers, developers and communities work together to decide how they want to incorporate existing programs to meet the community’s needs. As Chris Sarra said, doing it together.

It’s not so much that programs need to change, it’s that the way they are delivered that needs to have relevance and context.

Draw on traditions to connect with each family’s origins

Our discussion group impressed that, in the end, it is not up to program developers to somehow create myriad localised variations to incorporate every culture into their programs. It’s up to practitioners to incorporate programs into their own ways of being and understanding. The aim is to implement evidence-based programs flexibly, without losing the key ingredients. Practitioners should embrace local culture and draw on each tribe’s own traditions to connect to each family’s origins, and help them find their own cultural knowledge, aspirations and practices.

As one Indigenous practitioner said at HFCC in Banff:

“It’s about bringing Triple P to our culture, not the other way around.”

To be truly pan-Indigenous, a program needs to provide a structure to connect effective parenting principles and strategies to each family’s lived experience of family. Flexible tailoring is not only permitted, it is required … for each family, community and era.

The principles and practices of positive parenting are not new. As one of the group participants shared with us:

“Our great grandmothers were patient and firm. Triple P is helping our families come back to our cultural traditions. It’s bringing us full circle.”

Pride and gratitude

These words make me so proud of what we are achieving collectively. There are so many people to thank for sharing their knowledge, learnings and successes with Triple P over the years, and most recently at the HFCC. Such enthusiasm and openness feed our passion for making programs such as Triple P accessible to every family.

Imagine if more Indigenous communities around the world could help reconnect young parents with their cultural heritage using evidence-based programs such as Triple P as a catalyst. Building strength on strength.

As a program developer and researcher who has spent the last 20 years exploring the fit of Triple P in Indigenous communities, this feedback has been overwhelming. I really do believe we are coming full circle.

 

 

 

 

 

A public health approach to child maltreatment prevention is critical, argues University of South Carolina’s Professor Ron Prinz

In the emerging field of child maltreatment prevention, public health approaches to prevent child abuse are novel but necessary, the director of the University of South Carolina’s Parenting and Family Research Center, Professor Ron Prinz, writes in a recent edition of the journal, Child Abuse & Neglect.

Ron Prinz

Professor Ron Prinz

Professor Prinz argues that interventions focusing on improving parenting are a crucial ingredient to the prevention of child maltreatment. However, few parents will sign up for a program that explicitly sets out to reduce child abuse.

He suggests that researchers who have been trained in disciplines that focus heavily on strategies which help one family at a time, or in small groups, could benefit from lessons learnt from public health campaigns, such as anti-smoking and public safety campaigns.

“Several years ago, parking lot footage played repeatedly on CNN of an abusive parent caught in the act was both alarming and informative,’’ Professor Prinz writes.

“The parent first buckled the young child into a car seat located in the back seat and then proceeded to pummel her with fists. Somehow even an abusive parent had been affected by public health messaging to secure the child properly in the car seat.’’

Professor Prinz said that while it was still an open question whether public health strategies could make a dent in child-maltreatment related indicators at a population level, several years ago, his group conducted a controlled study to test the proposition using the Triple P—Positive Parenting Program system.

“Despite power constraints associated with having only 9 Triple P counties and 9 comparison counties, the study showed that large effects could be produced on child out-of-home placements, child hospital-treated maltreatment injuries, and CM substantiations,’’ Professor Prinz writes.

“This type of study sorely needs to be replicated, although getting communities, states, and funders to embrace a place randomization design is not easy.’’

He says that while broad parenting intervention is important, it must be joined with other critical facets of a public health approach, such as the need to address poverty factors and parental substance abuse.

Professor Prinz argues that the parenting-focused aspects of child maltreatment prevention can extend beyond the original goal, including the prevention of childhood social, emotional, and behavioural problems; the reduction of risk for adverse adolescent outcomes (such as substance use, delinquency and academic failure); and parental engagement for school readiness.

He also suggests that media can help normalise help-seeking behaviour among parents and provide positive models of how parents can encourage pro-social behaviour in their children while providing boundaries without resorting to coercive parenting practices.

A public health approach does not mean, Prof Prinz argues, that all parents receive equal access to the same “dose’’ of support.

“Universal access to parenting support is important, but this does not mean every parent in the population needs to participate in the same intensity, or even any, level of parenting support,’’ Professor Prinz writes.

“A blended approach to prevention makes the most sense, which means indicated, selective and universal preventive interventions are combined in an organized framework.’’

The article points out that some families also need support in relation to basic needs, such as food, housing and medical care, parental substance-use problems, mental health disorders, or other specific conditions.

Professor Prinz also suggests that public health approaches to child maltreatment prevention could benefit from linking parenting-focused interventions to broad community mobilisation strategies.

“Efforts like Strong Communities (developed by psychologist Gary Melton and colleagues), which seeks to change the culture within neighbourhoods to one of mutual engagement and assistance, are compatible with interventions that champion and promote pro-social parenting and positive contagion for the raising of healthy children,’’ he writes.

It may be awkward, but we need to talk to kids about porn

The ease of access to pornography has changed rapidly. The stash of hidden magazines you might remember from your youth is vastly different from the sexually explicit content children can be exposed to today. And parents often underestimate the extent of their child’s exposure to online porn.

International estimates of the proportion of children and young people who have viewed porn vary, from around 43% to 99% in older age groups. Exposure to online porn often begins around the age of ten or 11, and increases with age.

Research suggests young porn users are more likely to have unrealistic attitudes about sexual activity and relationships. They tend to be more accepting of stereotyped gender roles.

While young porn users often have a more relaxed and permissive attitude to sex, they may not have a clear understanding about the importance of consent, pleasure, sexual health or safety in their sexual relationships.

The benefits of having open, clear, factual discussions with children about online media and digital relationships are clear. Children who receive sex and relationship education from an early age are more likely to:

  • understand and accept physical and emotional changes with confidence
  • feel positive about their bodies
  • appreciate and accept individual differences
  • make informed and responsible sexual decisions later in life
  • feel good about themselves and their gender
  • be capable of communicating about sexual matters
  • understand what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.

They’re also less likely to be exploited or sexually abused.

So we need to talk to our kids about sex, and porn, without sending them cringing back to their bedrooms.

Overcoming the barriers

Your own views about porn and respectful relationships are likely to influence how you feel about discussing the issue with your children.

But regardless of whether your view is that consensual adult porn is a normal and enjoyable part of adults’ sex lives, or an exploitative practice, the most important thing you need to do is to keep open the channels of communication with your children.

Discuss your family’s values and beliefs as well as the continuum of beliefs that may be held in the community. In response to a young person’s exposure to material online, for example, a parent could say:

I can see you were a bit worried about what you saw this morning on the computer. There were some pretty explicit sex acts shown there.

What’s important to remember is that people have different ideas about pleasure and how they express their sexuality, and that may not agree with our values and how you or I view things.

I’d really like to hear what you thought about it and how you felt…

Children are more likely to keep the communication lines open if you are being honest and truthful.

Dealing with young children

Young children under the age of seven or eight are unlikely to understand the meaning of any pornography that they see.

At this age, the best approach is to focus on accurate and open information about bodies being private, and on consent, personal space and safety. You don’t have to go into great detail about pornography; you can tell them that sex is an adult or older person’s activity.

But don’t avoid or ignore their questions if they ask. Keep conversations brief, factual and honest, and use correct terminology for body parts.

Monitor your child’s use of electronic devices and the internet, but also let your child know you are always happy to talk with them. Tell them that if they see something in public – and the internet is public – to let you know.

Older children and adolescents

It’s normal for young people to want to learn about sex and relationships, and they will access online media for all forms of learning. Monitoring what older children and adolescents access is important, but open, honest communication is even more critical.

If you’ve laid the groundwork, as your child gets older and becomes more interested in the topic, it will be easier to have conversations about sex, what’s good and not so good about it, and about portrayals of sex, relationships and sexual identity in the media.

There is no one right age for these discussions, but you’ll want to tailor your conversations so they’re age-appropriate. If your four-year-old comes home and tells you that Johnny has two mummies, for instance, you might use it as an opportunity to discuss how families are different.

If you notice your 11-year-old giggling at the cover of a women’s magazine’s “ten tips for better sex”, take the time to engage in a conversation about what they find amusing or uncomfortable.

If your child is either purposefully or accidentally accessing porn, rather than shaming them or getting angry, talk calmly to them about what they saw, how it made them feel, and the implications of what they saw.

Regardless of your own views about porn, it’s important to let children know that what is portrayed is not reflective of most relationships. The actors and the sex acts may not represent reality and may present a simplified and incorrect – and sometimes non-consensual – image of sex and relationships.

Note that any material involving sexual activity with or between people under 18 years of age may constitute child abuse material. To a child or young person, these actors may look like peers. So it’s important to discuss age, power and consent.

When parents are able to respond to children’s curiosity and talk about porn, they can help young people develop safety skills and recognise the importance of their own sexual health and well-being.

If you think your child may be excessively viewing pornography, viewing violent or degrading material, or not processing the fiction of the content, you may want to seek the advice of a sexual health provider, such as state-based family planning clinics.


This article was co-authored by Melanie Grabski from True: Relationships and Reproductive Health.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

San Diego delivery of Triple P a powerful illustration of how a population approach can work

An evaluation of the delivery of the Jewish Family Service of San Diego’s Positive Parenting Program in a low-income, Spanish-speaking community is a powerful illustration of how a population approach can improve the lives of children and their families, Triple P founder, Professor Matt Sanders, says.

jfs logoThe Triple P – Positive Parenting Program was chosen by the County of San Diego to promote social and emotional wellness for children and families living in at-risk, low socio-economic communities with a high concentration of ethnic minorities.

The County provided Jewish Family Service with a Mental Health Services Act Prevention and Early Intervention Grant to provide Levels 2, 3 and 4 of Triple P through the delivery of Triple P Seminars, Individual (Primary Care Triple P) and Group Triple P.

JFS conducts regular evaluations of its implementation of Triple P. In 2013-14, its evaluation showed significant improvements for the majority of parents and children who participated in the program.

While change occurred across a range of child and parent outcomes, the largest improvements came following Group Triple P for children in the clinical range for conduct problems and social, emotional and behavioural concerns, and for parents’ whose self-reports placed them at clinical levels of depression. In both examples, most parents and children in the clinical range moved into the normal range.

Triple P founder, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of The University of Queensland’s Parenting and Family Support Centre, Matt Sanders, said the fact that JFS was able to reach such large numbers of families and record extremely high rates of program completion and satisfaction in a predominantly low-income, Spanish-speaking community was extremely rewarding to see.

“The JFS implementation model demonstrates just what can be achieved by following good practice in program delivery,’’ Professor Sanders said.

“It shows that quality parent education can benefit all cultures and economic environments. Parents have a universal need for support and this evaluation shows those needs can be met and that barriers to services can be addressed by dedication and creativity.’’

Mandate for early intervention and prevention support

Director of Positive Parenting for JFS in San Diego, Lea Bush, said the Triple P mix of light-touch seminars combined with more intensive programs for families with greater levels of need provided an ideal way for JFS to fulfill its mandate to provide early intervention and prevention support services for families across the targeted population.

The JFS evaluation, conducted by consultant Susan Hedges, shows uniformly large effect sizes for children in the clinical range of social, emotional and behavioural problems with the majority of these children moving into the normal range after their parents participated in Group Triple P.

From this group of families, of the 86 children assessed to be in the abnormal range for conduct problems, 74 per cent (or 64 children) improved following Group Triple P, with 63 per cent (54 children) moving into the normal range. Similar levels of improvement were recorded for children with abnormal levels of emotional problems (76 and 60 per cent), hyperactivity (88 and 81 per cent), peer relationship problems (72 and 51 per cent) and total difficulties (88 and 70 per cent).

Replicating clinical trial results, JFS parents’ depressive symptoms improved following Group Triple P across a range of functioning from mild to severe. Eighty-two per cent of parents with mild to moderate levels of depression moved to the normal range, while 67 per cent of parents with severe to extremely severe depression moved to the normal range.

High retention rates of parents

The evaluation also shows high retention rates of parents across the range of Triple P programs delivered with very high levels of parent satisfaction.

Ms Bush said the delivery of Triple P Seminars in elementary and pre-schools across San Diego provided an ideal initial access point into the community.

“Parents really enjoy the low-barrier, easy engagement model of Triple P Seminars because there are not too many expectations placed on them to participate or interact,’’ Ms Bush said. “We provide seminars directly at preschool and elementary school sites and ask that parents attend all three sessions of the seminar series to receive a ‘completion certificate’.

“As needed or desired by parents, we then enrol families from Level 2 into Level 4 Group or Level 3 Individual programs. It works very well because parents learn in the seminars that this is a safe place to learn about ways to improve their children’s behavior and they develop trust and rapport with other members of the preschool or community. They then become more willing to engage in higher levels of service when necessary.’’

Over the 12-month period, JFS Parent Educators delivered to 2831 parents or other individuals such as school or child care staff who attended at least one session of Triple P. At least 3500 children were estimated as benefitting.

Since 2009, Triple P has reached an estimated 10,262 adults in San Diego, benefitting an around 19,972 children in the County.

A vast number of sites are served by the JFS program annually, with more than 100 sites reached each year for the past two years, including Head Start centers.

Ms Bush said the organisation went to great lengths to remove any potential barriers to parents attending programs, providing incentives ranging from free babysitting, snacks, laundry soap, transportation and children’s books.

“Our parent education staff are really empowered to make relationships directly with the sites they serve, so they get to know the staff, the parents, the teachers and use those relationships to compel attendance by as many parents as possible,’’ Ms Bush said.

“All our staff are what we call “para-professional” or “peer-based” staff who were hired for their ability to connect with the community. This is another hallmark of how we are able to develop rapport.’’

Copies of the report are available upon request from Ms Bush, Director of Positive Parenting at Jewish Family Service of San Diego, leab@jfssd.org

‘Now, when there is a problem, I just breathe and I deal with the problem with no anger. This is good. For me, I think the program has changed my life.’

 

Evidence of cultural acceptability in research trials is one thing.

But a video produced by a local authority in the United Kingdom which is delivering Triple P Seminars, Triple P Discussion Groups and Group Triple to parents is a convincing argument for the way the program can help parents across all sections of the community.

Depicting a group of women participating in an Arabic-speaking Group Triple P session in Brighton and Hove, the video is also a great illustration of the cultural acceptability of the program.

Arabic-speaking and Triple P International-trained and accredited Triple P practitioner Kafa Atar, who leads the group in Brighton and Hove through her work with the local authority’s Ethnic Minority Achievement Service, has lived in five Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq for the most part, but also in Syria for two years.

She is passionate about helping families settle in the United Kingdom from these countries and says that timing is everything when it comes to offering parenting support, following a thorough assessment of needs and readiness.

Kafa says Triple P can help parents negotiate the sometimes tricky transition to school. But it also can help families negotiate their new life.

“For me, it’s for two purposes,” Kafa says in the video. “It’s to bridge the gap between two cultures. Our parenting style is very different . . . We are scared of English culture.”

In the video Kafa says that addressing bad behaviour is all about establishing routines. Establishing good routines can have an effect on a child’s learning as well as having an impact on their lives at school.

Kafa says the use of praise is not common in Middle Eastern parenting culture but through the group sessions, parents learn that it can be a powerful tool.

Parents participating in the video also provide a great illustration of how they are now dealing with life now.

“Now, when there is a problem, I just breathe and I deal with the problem with no anger,” says mother Areej Al-Jwait, from Iraq. “Now they (the children) become more honest and they come to me and they tell me the problem without any fear. And I will be quiet and I breathe and I deal with the problem. This is good. For me . . . I think the program has changed my life.”

EMAS team leader Sarah Berliner said EMAS also delivers Triple P programs in Polish, Chinese, Pashto and have just trained staff for Bengali and Oromiffa-speaking families.

“It is really powerful and meaningful work and makes such a difference to the outcomes for the pupils and their families,” Ms Berliner said.

The video was produced by independent UK producer Cathy Maxwell, who volunteered her services for EMAS.

 

Uplifting, gratifying and professionally rewarding: Triple P Masterclasses in the UK, Ireland and Germany show that the program is in good hands

For someone who grew up in a boys school famous for turning out All Blacks, last weekend’s Rugby World Cup final was a personal highlight of my recent trip to the United Kingdom.

But the professional highlight would have to be the Masterclasses I felt privileged to deliver to Triple P practitioners around the UK, Ireland and in Berlin over the past few weeks.

The energy in the rooms for individual Masterclasses might not have matched Twickenham Stadium with 80,000 fans for the final, but for me collectively they came close.

If participating in Masterclasses is like taking the pulse of Triple P implementation in the community, then the program is in great hands.

There were strong numbers at the masterclasses, such as in Brighton, pictured above. Of course, this is personally satisfying but strong attendance also signals that good local implementation of Triple P is in place, that practitioners value the program and obviously see a great fit for the families they’re seeking to help.

Many of the practitioners who came to the Masterclasses are achieving outstanding outcomes with some very complex families.

We had some excellent question and answer sessions where practitioners had the opportunity to ask me the most difficult clinical questions they could think of.

Working with complex families

These questions certainly kept me on my toes and highlighted once again the extremely diverse ways that organisations and practitioners are using Triple P to help a great range of families, such as parents in prison, families with complex mental health problems and those with learning disabilities.

In Germany, there was intense interest for the German version of Triple P Online.

During meetings I tried to convey the immense value to communities in having a well-trained and supported workforce to deliver evidence-based practices such as Triple P.

It was also great to see the team from Falkirk, pictured below, with their award for Triple P delivery and use of the Peer Assisted Supervision and Support (PASS) implementation model.

PASS draws on Triple P’s self-regulatory model and draws support from the use of peers rather than expert mentoring. The idea is to empower practitioners and increase sustainability of program delivery within organisations.

Triple P and the Psychology of Parenting Project in Scotland

Falkirk was one of the pilot sites for the Psychology of Parenting Project, which has embedded the delivery of Triple P and The Incredible Years programs within a suite of complementary training activities and organisational supports throughout Scotland.

Thanks to everyone involved for making my Masterclass series such an enjoyable and professional rewarding experience.

Hopefully more local authorities will see the true value of adopting the full multilevel system of Triple P within a public health framework.

falkirk pic