South African Crime Quarterly

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A ‘best buy’ for violence prevention: Evaluating parenting skills programmes

Inge Wessels, Catherine L Ward


Effective parenting programmes are central to successful violence prevention efforts. Although parenting programmes are available in South Africa, few are evidence-based. This lack of evaluation makes it impossible to know whether programmes are helpful or harmful and whether they use resources  efficiently. This article outlines a process for gauging the extent to which parenting programmes incorporate evidence-based practices, which may then assist in identifying promising programmes. This involves the application of two interlinked instruments – an interview schedule and rating metric. It was applied to 21 group-based parenting programmes in South Africa that were identified via convenience and snowball sampling. Results indicated that the use of evidence-based practices was low, especially in terms of monitoring and evaluation. Findings highlight clear areas where programme strengthening is needed. A similar process could be used to identify other promising violence prevention interventions.
AJOL African Journals Online