News from Pargas

On this warm late summer’s day here in Pargas, Finland, we are happy to announce 19 new graduates of ICDP basic training (on photo above).

In this group, with professionals from health care and social care working in early childhood education and schools, we have especially discussed the position and perspective of the child. Many deep thoughts and good laughs have accompanied us through the days!

The group was taught by early childhood special education teacher Christel Holmström and family counselling clinical psychologist Petra Zilliacus.

August 2023


Church leaders give go ahead to ICDP in Ethiopia

Based on the report by Atnaf Berhanu:

Atnaf was in Ethiopia from January to the end of March 2023. During this period, she conducted 3 workshops to create awareness about the ICDP programme and in addition, she held 3 training workshops to form new ICDP facilitators. These workshops were all held in different parts of the country. It was a great effort, particularly as Atnaf continues to expand her work with the ICDP programme on voluntary basis. Despite the lack of financial support, Atnaf is determined to continue because she feels that ICDP is important.

A total of 180 church leaders attended the awareness raising workshops. This effort was very successful and the church leaders decided to have groups of facilitators formed in all 3 areas, as follows:

Shashemene, West Arsi Zone, Oromia Region, 250 km from Addis Abeba

Facilitator level training was given to 22 members of different local churches. There after the trained facilitators recruited parents and ran parent groups. Atnaf provided a support session to this team.

Wolayta Sodo, Southwest of Ethiopia

A group of 55 Church leaders were introduced to the ICDP principles, who found ICDP to be relevant to their congregations and afterwards asked for ICDP training to be conducted for new groups of facilitators; 33 members of different local churches attended the training – part one was accomplished in February and part two in March. Some of the facilitators started to run parent groups immediately after the training. 

Debreberhan, about 120 km northeast of Addis Ababa

A total of 45 church leaders asked for ICDP training to be given to 22 members of their congregations. Part one of the training was given in February, and part two in March. During the training the participants shared their experiences on how they tend to treat their children due to lack of knowledge. After the training some of them said that they asked forgiveness from their children for the way they behaved before receiving ICDP. 

    Continuation of the work in Hawasa

    In Hawasa, a group of previously trained ICDP facilitators have been giving parental guidance to families in their congregations. One local church carried out an evaluation with a group of 31 parents after they attended ICDP. The evaluation was based on the following questions and with following results: 

    Have they benefited from the training: all benefited very much, 1 to some extent. 

    About the impact of the intervention: 24 answered it was very good; 6 said it was medium.

      Was there anything they did not understand: 24 said all was clear, 7 said it was clear to some extent.

      Asked if they will share ICDP with others: 21 said they will share it with others; 9 said they hope to share it with others.


      ICDP annual report 2022

      With pleasure we share the ICDP report about activities in 2022.


      Impact of ICDP in the care of older people

      Professional caregivers’ participation in the International Caregiver Development Programme: A qualitative study of psychosocial care in nursing homes
      Line Constance Holmsen | Bodil Tveit | Ane-Marthe Solheim Skar|Marit Helene Hem

      Read it here in full.

      Aim: This paper aims to explore professional caregivers’ experiences of psychosocial care for older persons living in nursing homes following the professional caregivers’ participation in the International Caregiver Development Programme (ICDP).
      Design: A qualitative study.
      Methods: About 15 focus group interviews and 25 participatory observations of five ICDP group courses were conducted with 31 employees in nursing homes, including registered nurses, enrolled nurses and nursing aids. The findings emerged through hermeneutic analysis.
      Results: Main findings: (i) Adjusting the communication to the residents’ psychosocial needs, (ii) Seeing the residents as individuals and (iii) Adjusting to individual interaction with the residents. The professional caregivers experienced that the residents participated more in communication, interaction and activities, in addition to be more satisfied, calm, happy and thankful in interaction with the caregivers. Furthermore, they described that the environment in the units became calmer and that they were considering psychosocial care before medication. Work-related stress seems to impact ICDP participation and may be a barrier to implementation.


      Assessment of ICDP in India

      Post-intervention assessment of the work in Dungarpur:

      During February 2022, ICDP parenting sessions were conducted with 128 caregivers and life skills sessions with 177 children. After these sessions, a post-intervention assessment was conducted with caregivers and children through the globally validated tools on the social emotional learning in children and the behaviour of caregivers towards their children. An evaluation study consisting of pre and post intervention assessment exercises was carried out for treatment and control groups in 2022, over a period of 13 months, to observe the impact of the parenting and life skills sessions on the caregivers and children. The study revealed that the children’s social-emotional learning (SEL) skills (measured on empathy, relationships, stress management, perseverance, and self-concept domains) improved for the treatment group. Caregivers’ interactions with their children also became more empathic and encouraging, with a decrease in maltreatment practices and increase in positive engagement in the treatment group. On the other hand, children in the control group did not show the same improvement in SEL skills. The average caregiver engagement score reported by the children shows a significant increase from 1.71 to 3.04 in a scale of 1 to 5 points, which is a clear predictor of change in the behaviour of caregivers towards their children. In the study, the various forms of maltreatment were grouped in four sub-domains: non-violent discipline, psychological aggression, physical violence, and neglect. It was observed that psychological aggression (shouting, threatening, giving insulting remarks) which was used by caregivers to control their child’s behaviour was reduced during the post-intervention assessment. The average psychological aggression reported by children in the pre-intervention assessment (baseline) to post-intervention assessment (endline) shows a clear decrease, which went down from 1.75 to 0.6. The physical violence measures (such as hitting, spanking, slapping) used by the caregivers also showed significant decrease, which declined from 1.21 to 0.15. To measure the children’s social-emotional learning skills, the International Social Emotional Learning Assessment (ISELA) tool was used that covered five social-emotional learning competencies: relationships: use of social supports, self-concept, stress management, perseverance, empathy and conflict resolution.


      WHO guidelines on parenting

      To all our partners working with the ICDP programme we recommend the following publication:

      “WHO guidelines on parenting interventions to prevent maltreatment and enhance parent–child relationships with children aged 0–17 years”

      It can be downloaded by following this link:


      This guideline provides evidence-based recommendations on parenting interventions for parents and caregivers of children aged 0–17 years that are designed to reduce child maltreatment and harsh parenting, enhance the parent–child relationship, and prevent poor mental health among parents and emotional and behavioural problems among children.


      First steps in Senegal and the Ivory Coast

      Normisjon is the organization promoting the start of ICDP in Senegal. At the same time, in the Ivory Coast, the Norwegian Lutheran Mission (NLM) together with its local partner, the Mission Evangelique Lutherienne en Cote d’Ivoire (MELCI), has also been making efforts to start ICDP. The two organizations contacted the ICDP foundation and it was agreed to start the training of future ICDP facilitators from both countries. at a workshop in Senegal. The first training workshop in the ICDP progrmme took place in March 2023, and it was conducted by ICDP trainer, Aubin Sanou. Aubin has been implementing the programme in Burkina Faso for a few years now and he had previously been trained by Nicoletta Armstrong. Read his brief report.


      Activities by ICDP Sweden

      2022 has been a year when the board in ICDP Sweden has changed chair, and Annelie Waldau Bergman, who has done such a competent and brilliant job as chair for more than 20 years, since the start in Sweden, has given that place to Veronica Kindbom who took over in June 2002.  We are all so thankful to Annelie for her most competent, sensitive and dedicated work for ICDP and for children for so many years!

      The ICDP work in Sweden has during 2022 slowly picked up from where it was before the pandemic. The trainings have started up with physical presence again, though the trainer level education is still using both digital and physical meetings with good results. In November we arranged the yearly meeting with our facilitators digitally , so as many as possible could participate.  Our trainers all over Sweden have been very active and done a great job in educating over 100 new facilitators and over 300 caregivers. During the spring 12 new facilitators finished their education and another 17 started their facilitator education during 2022.

      The work on our homepage has been progressing, and the board decided to invest in a completely new homepage that hopefully will be ready during the spring 2023. The work on closer cooperation with our facilitators is still going on.

      Together with a facilitator in the city of Jönköping, and of course inspired by the work in Norway., Stiftelsen ICDP Sweden adapted the programme to better fit in with our new inhabitants, parents from other countries. A fifth day of education for our trainers will be offered during spring 2023. The education will give some extra tools to our trainers to meet the parents arriving to a new country in a sensitive and more profound way. We are really looking forward to this!

      During 2022 we have also invested a great deal of effort in making new booklets. The work with the new booklet ”Praktisk tillämpning av barnkonventionen” (”Practical application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child”) was finished during the autumn of 2022 and it was presented at our yearly meeting with facilitators in November. The booklet is now used in all our trainings. In 2022 the process of making a couple of more booklets had started and these will hopefully be ready in 2023.

      ICDP Sweden is in an inspiring and developing phase, and we are really looking forward to 2023!

      Veronica Kindbom


      Report from ICDP leadership in Ukraine

      Sergey and Anna Krasin wrote in February 2023:

      2022 was very difficult year for Ukraine and very difficult for ICDP Ukraine.
      Trainers and facilitators found themselves working under constant stress, with many being forced to leave their homes, and some had little option but to leave the country. Nevertheless, ICDP trainers and facilitators continued conducting sessions for parents whenever it was possible for them to do so.

      A new challenge for us was the need to support parents who experienced traumatic situations with serious emotional consequences. At the same time, the facilitators had to cope with traumas they themselves lived through.

      On 23-24th of July, together with the Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation (ICDP USA) we conducted a shared Ukrainian-American conference called “Practical aspects of providing psycho-social support to parents and children using ICDP methods: the experience of America and Ukraine”
      More than 70 participants took part in master classes prepared by specialists from America and Ukraine (Kimberly Svevo-Ciancsi, Diana McFarlin, Ksenia Kozlova, Anna Krasina, Sergey Krasin, Natalia Fedak).

      In November and December, trainers Anna and Sergey Krasin conducted a training module for 30 specialists from Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) run by the Caritas Ukraine Charitable Foundation.

      CFS represent a safe place where children can meet other children to play, learn to cope with the risks they must face on daily basis, participate in some educational activities and relax. They are located on the premises of Caritas in different Ukrainian cities. In addition, mobile child friendly spaces are organized in areas with large numbers of newly displaced population, including internally displaced persons, especially children in need of assistance (children in shelters, community centres, tents or in open spaces in a camp or community).

      Nine participants of the training project for specialist working in CFS became facilitators.

      Zotina Sofiia, who conducts parent groups in Lviv, notes that during the war, adults became more closed, it was difficult for them to open up and talk about their feelings. In groups, parents willingly share memories of their childhood and their positive parental experience.

      Demkovich Zoryana, who runs groups in Zhovkva, Lviv region, says that adults attending groups have been learning to feel happy again.

      Story from Zoryana: “During our meeting, some parents sincerely shared their experiences and anxieties. Such stories left everyone touched and in tears. Others also started sharing their thoughts about very personal experiences. For example, one mother told us about her lack of knowledge and skills in raising her son, which led to their misunderstanding each other. She shared that she now understood her own misconceptions, imagining that her son was the way she wanted him to be. She rarely listened to his opinion, which, as a result, led him to rebel and decreased his willingness to study.”

      Elena Kubik from Nikolaev said that the parent groups are very emotional. Closed adults begin to open up and openly talk about their memories from their own childhood. They feel much better afterwards and start to change their attitude towards their children. They are very grateful for the ICDP groups and as a result they tend to offer more reliable support to their children during these difficult times.

      Lesya Kupchik from Khmelnitsky notes that the war created more conflicts between children and parents. In groups, based on the ICDP principles, together they are looking for ways out of different conflicting situations.

      In Kyiv, Diana Diatchenko, conducted parents’ groups and also groups for parents together with their children. She noted that at the first meetings, the parents were very constrained and did not show emotions. Then, adults became friends, and at the end, they did not want to leave. Children and adults enjoyed working together very much.

      In the village of Oleksandrivka, in the Dnepropetrovsk region, Nesvitskaya Julia and Kravchenko Alena noticed that conducting parent-child and parent groups help adults look at their children differently, change their attitude towards their children and reduce conflicts in the family.

      Parent groups, conducted by ICDP facilitators at the locations of the CFS Caritas of Ukraine, were visited by more than 70 parents who suffered from the war in Ukraine.

      In February 2023, three face-to-face training groups for ICDP facilitators started in Dnipro, Kharkiv and Poltava. 


      Expansion through local governments in Nepal

      During the past few years, Save the Children (SC) has been applying the ICDP programme through a parenting package developed for implementation at community level in Napel. In this package, ICDP was added to the Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP) project, which untill then had focused mainly on the child grant.

      Currently, there are 5 national trainers in the SC organization and their task has been to train and form ICDP facilitators who operate under local governments. During 2022, a group of 99 new facilitators were formed who reached 478 caregivers, mostly mothers.

      Key achievements in 2022:

      Local governments in the project areas are allocating budgets to implement and collaborate on the parenting programme. Currently, the parenting package is being implemented by nine local governments in four districts. Four local governments out of nine, have allocated budgets already and others are in the process of doing so. This development is resulting from them realizing the importance of the programme.

      Policy influence: Department of National ID and Civil Registration under the ministry of Home Affairs in Nepal, formed a committee to prepare draft guideline on the parenting programme operation in all of its 753 local governments. The committee submitted the final draft to the department after a process of consultation through a series of meetings, in which two members of staff from the CSSP project participated and were part of that committee. The guideline was eventually endorsed by the department.

      ICDP facilitators conducted training in four districts. All the facilitators were selected from local governments based on the criteria set by the project. SC, considering a sustainable approach, engaged the local governments in the process so that future local governments can take over and run the parenting sessions.

      Impact evaluation study of the child grant plus parenting programme: An impact study was carried out in 2021, which was disseminated among the governments and other development stakeholders. The finding showed positive impacts (Impact Evaluation of the Child Grant Parenting Programme in Nepal | Save the Children’s Resource Centre)

      Click here to read the ICDP report by Save the Children in Nepal.