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ICDP in Finland in 2022

by Petra Zilliacus

ICDP Finland is proud to present the year of 2022 as one of the most expansive years during our 10 year history.

The Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters in Finland, ETKL, has educated nine new trainers with Nicoletta Armstrong as trainer. All in all, our new and old trainers have completed six Basic Trainings with a total of 66 graduates and two facilitator trainings resulting in 17 new facilitators.

ICDP Finland has also conducted an ICDP bilingual kick-off day for the entire day care personnel in the county of Inkoo.

In the Finnish research field there have been two papers addressing ICDP, one by Melissa Matjus at Novia University of Applied Sciences, addressing ICDP as a programme based on attachment and a Master’s thesis by Katri Kvick at Eastern University in Finland about parents’ perspective on ICDP as a parent support programme.

In addition to the many trainings, the ICDP Finland association has conducted virtual ICDP coffee breaks for members every first Thursday of the month, arranged an ICDP New and Old Educators Day for mutual inspiring, and offered a free “Magical ICDP”- webinar for anyone curious about how ICDP can serve people and organizations in different ways.

The photo shows attendees of a virtual meeting: From the COVID times we learned to meet virtually and the ICDP morning coffee meetings once a month are something we have continued with, even though the restrictions are lifted. This is a great way to check in with old and new members and share the ICDP spirit.

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ICDP annual report 2021

Click here to download the report.

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Research in the Philippines and scaling up ICDP

ICDP chairperson, Nicoletta Armstrong, received an invitation to present ICDP and take part in the online presentation of the report about the impact of the parenting programme that is implemented by Save the Children and partners. The online event was held on the 18th of March 2022 and it was attended partly in person, and partly through Zoom.

The report presented the results from a quasi-experimental (pre- and post-intervention assessment) evaluation of a parenting programme delivered to the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the Philippines. The 4Ps is a nationwide conditional cash transfer programme aimed at breaking intergenerational transfer of poverty by supporting poor households with cash transfers and encouraging them to invest in the health, nutrition and education of their children. This study followed 465 dyads of children and caregivers for a period of 13 months. Of the 465 dyads, 232 dyads formed part of an intervention group that received the ICDP parenting programme in addition to the 4Ps cash transfer, while 233 dyads in the comparison group only received the cash transfer.

Results overview:

1.More caregivers in the intervention group are engaged with their children’s social-emotional learning development than caregivers in the comparison group

2.Caregivers and children in the intervention group also reported a greater reduction in their use of maltreatment than the caregivers and children in the comparison group after participating in the  intervention

3.Improvement in social-emotional development for children in the intervention group greater than the improvement for the comparison group

After the presentation of the study findings by Anmol Kamra, (a researcher and consultant at the World Bank who conducted this study), there followed a space for comments by various representatives from different regional and national government departments, who shared positive comments and expressed serious intentions for scaling up in the Philippines the parenting package that includes the ICDP programme. Two hundred government employees are already beginning their training in ICDP, attending courses run by ICDP certified trainers.

Click here to read the full report.

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Danish report

This year as well, our ICDP work has been influenced by COVID-19, but despite the difficulties in dealing with the pandemic, we have had a growing interest in relationship work over the last 2 years. The progress has been so significant that it has been necessary to involve new forces in our administration and management.

Working professionally with human interaction requires empathy and sensitivity, because only then can we be touched and moved by other people. All our activities are permeated by this perspective and are based, among other things, on the assumption that relational conditions are dynamic and changeable. With the help of the eight themes for good interaction, we can strengthen the good life for children and young people through the togetherness and upbringing of the new generation. We are proud to be able to contribute to this important task through our management of the heritage from Karsten Hundeide.
On behalf of the Danish Center for ICDP
Anne Linder and Jens Linder

Click here to read the full report about the activities in Denmark in 2021

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News from Pargas

In the small village of Pargas in the south west of Finland, a new group of local professionals completed their training in the ICDP basic programme and received their certificates on the 11th of November, 2021. The group was multi professional consisting of people from child protection, speech therapy, nursing, psychology as well as day care and school personnel. The course was conducted by two ICDP trainers, the early childhood special educator Jaana Tirkkonen and the psychologist Petra Zilliacus.

“Some lovely and lively discussions were held, especially about the impact of the caregiver’s view of the child and what it means to truly meet the child as a person.” – says Petra Zilliacus.

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Finnish Federation takes a new step forward

In Finland, the Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters has been using the ICDP programme for seven years now. The Federation is a non-profit NGO, their webpage:

The Federation provides assistance to victims of domestic violence; it works on child abuse prevention and offers help to expectant mothers suffering from substance abuse. Their expertise is based on close cooperation with members of the association offering assistance to families in difficult situations, by tackling their grievances and offering solutions. Considerable efforts are made to make the voice of families with children heard and the emergency recognised in the social debate. They gather and publish information on the circumstances of families in difficult positions and influence central government and municipalities to take families into account in decision-making.

The Federation counts on groups of ICDP facilitators who apply the ICDP programme with parents and children. In November, a group of ten professionals who have all been working as ICDP facilitators for some time, embarked on further training to become ICDP certified trainers. The ten facilitators attended the Trainer level workshop from 1-3rd of November 2021, conducted online by Nicoletta Armstrong. The training will continue in person, in 2022.

Having trainers is important for the Federation, because trainers will be engaged in forming new groups of ICDP facilitators inside their networks of care – in this way, the ICDP programme will be sustained and as a result more families will be reached in years to come.

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Growth in the Philippines

Update from Zenona Gread, ICDP trainer and coordinator from Save the Children’s office in Ormoc city, Philippines, where the ICDP programme is a key component of the Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP) programme:

In May 2021, a total of 2,008 (1,404 females; 604 males) parents from nine barangays of Villaba (Hinabuyan and Sambulawan), Kananga (Lonoy, Naghalin, Natubgan and Poblacion) and Ormoc City (San Jose, Can-untog and Dunghol) graduated from the parenting programme.  Among the 27 children and youth who gave testimonies during the graduation ceremony, was the 16 years old Jobert Lebolora from Sambulawan, Villaba, who shared the following:

“I see a big behaviour change in my mother because of the parenting programme. She used to nag and shout when giving orders and she easily flared up when we asked her something. But I noticed that during the course of the parenting sessions, she has slowly softened. She doesn’t nag nor does she shout anymore. Our family has become peaceful. My mother and father don’t fight or shout at each other anymore. So, we children help do the household chores without having to be told.”

The qualitative study by an external consultant of the impact on fathers and children of the specially adapted parenting course for fathers, also revealed positive changes of behaviour.

Fathers said that the parenting sessions showed them how to show love and affection to both boys and girls, which they thought was only done by rich families. It made them realize that expressions of love and affection are for all and can be done by mothers and fathers. Here’s a personal account of one of the participant fathers:

“I used to come home from the fields tired and irritable, I even hit the children with a broom, pinched their ears and yelled at them for slightest causes. I didn’t notice their joy upon seeing me come home. They used to meet me and ask if I brought any frogs from the paddies; and when I didn’t, they would get so disappointed, ignoring me, finding any excuse not to do anything I ask of them. After participating in the parenting sessions, I realized I needed to reciprocate their eagerness and happiness on seeing me; and I realized later that that the frogs made them happy, that they liked playing with them, before we cooked them for dinner. Now I make sure to catch some frogs before coming home…”

The participant mothers expressed that they were not just witnesses to the shift in their husbands’ behaviour, but saw themselves as being part of that change. The positive change of their husbands’ behaviour was also an effect of their own change of behaviour through the parenting sessions they too attended.

A total of 64 Family Support Groups (FSGs) were formed as a sustainability and support mechanism of the parenting programme.  FSGs served as the venue for the parents/caregivers to review the parenting topics and continue their savings scheme, “Ang Pangarap kong Proyekto (My dreamed project”) through monthly meetings. FSG savings is a significant facilitating factor for children’s continued education amidst the pandemic. Most FSG savings were used for children’s school needs (Wi-Fi and mobile phones for online classes). A number of FSG members earmarked their savings for house repairs, medical needs of family members, house construction, washing machine, refrigerator, electricity installation, and livelihood capitalization for passenger tricycles, meat vending, hog raising and emergency purposes which also impact on the well-being of the whole family.

Another significant result of the project is that the parenting facilitators organized themselves into a formal cooperative whose aim is to carry on regular updates and reviews of the parenting topics, as well as managing their savings.

Other accomplishments:

  • Adoption of the ICDP parenting programme by Ormoc City Social Welfare Office as an implementation strategy of the “Ormoc City Children’s Welfare Code” for the 110 barangays of the city.
  • During the period between March and July 2021, the roll out of the ICDP parenting programme took place in Ormoc Barangays for a total of 135 parent participants (123 females; 12males)
  • Adoption of the ICDP parenting programme by DSWD – Region 8 as a social case management strategy of the Kilos Unlad (KU) framework [1] in implementation of the 4Ps law or RA 11310, for the whole region per agreement with 4Ps Regional Programme Management Office. Video documentation of the decision by the 4Ps Division Chief was sent to SC Finland.
  • In March 2021, ICDP Facilitator level training was given to 20 (15 females; 2 males) Provincial Links and Social Welfare Officers of DSWD – Region 8 Implementation
  • ICDP parenting programme graduation of 2008 (1,404 females; 604 males) 4Ps parent participants took place in May 2021.
  • ICDP Facilitator level training was given to 150 (130 females; 20 males) officers of the Provincial Links of 4Ps Region 8, as preparatory activities for Year 2022 KU framework implementation of the 4Ps.
  • Evaluations and reflections were carried out of the ICDP parenting programme roll out by the Ormoc City Social Welfare and Development facilitators

[1] KilosUnlad Framework, it is a 7-year modular social case management strategy that aims to guide the 4Ps households to achieve an improved well-being.

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Work with refugees in Stafford, England

October 2021

The Stafford Welcomes Refugees (SWR) Women Support Group has started to use the ICDP programme with some of the families it attends.

Stafford Welcomes Refugees (SWR) was set up in 2015 in response to the Syrian refugee crisis to press the UK to take its fair share of refugees fleeing war and persecution.

SWR offers general support to refugees with their integration into life in Stafford, and for this purpose it became a partner with Staffordshire County Council and its commissioned services from Refugee Action and Spring Housing for the Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS).

ICDP trainer Michelle MacDonald was recruited by the SWR group in Stafford, to provide psychosocial support for the Middle-Eastern refugee community.

Michelle’s background in education and health, and her previous involvement in humanitarian work within crisis education for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, provides her with the appropriate experience for this new assignment by the SWR group in Stafford.

On 29th of September 2021, she has started to conduct an online course, which is providing refugee women in Stafford with an opportunity to share their experiences, challenges and successes within a safe and nurturing space. The course is taking the participants through the ICDP sensitization process to enhance their interaction with young children and adolescents.

In addition, they will be given tools to help them better adjust to their life in England and support their families as well. The role of women, their health and wellbeing, stress management and bridging the gap between the two cultures, are additional topics covered by the course.

The course is taking place over a period of three months, with 12 weekly sessions, conducted in Arabic and English.

WhatsApp is used for feedback on tasks assigned in-between the online sessions and for sharing of experiences around the key topics.

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Update from ICDP USA

October 2021.

Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation (CCWF) is happy to share news regarding the promotion and implementation of the “ICDP-USA: The Best Start for Families” Program among various communities who need support and information in parenting skills, communications, and strategy development.

New programs in 2020-2021 have included programming for parents with disabilities and virtual programming which already shows extremely positive parent outcomes.

Further, we have proudly presented the Program evaluation results focused on outcomes for Jail/Justice, Child Welfare-involved, and Families with Children with Special Needs. The specific outcomes of seven years of work with these populations were introduced at the 4th International Research and Practice Conference on Psychology in Education that was hosted by the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia on October, 7-8. CCWF Executive Director, Dr. Kimberly Svevo-Cianci, was invited as a keynote speaker for the session devoted to psychological practices for solving socially significant problems.

Another Conference presentation made on behalf of CCWF was the school shooting theoretical review, “Invisible Answers: The Role of School Culture in School Shooting Genesis.” This work was started as a CCWF intern research project in order to treat school shootings from the perspective of the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) conception in order to define the possible ways of school shootings prevention.

CCWF is excited to have launched “The Best Start: All About YOUth” program which is an ICDP-based solution for teenagers (and their parents).

The purpose of “The Best Start: All About YOUth” is to help youth recognize and embrace their unique qualities. The program encourages youth to develop their voice while inspiring and supporting each other using empathy. Youth learn to strengthen relationships and to apply Restorative Practices towards social justice. In addition to “Student Workbooks” for Teens and Young Adults, “Coach Playbooks” are published and already available on Amazon and other selling platforms.

One more success is the “Five O’clock – Mindful Teatime”, a pilot project of ICDP online training for Russian-speaking families from all over the world. Considering the international specifics of the group, “The Best Start for Families” is a perfect match for the parents who define themselves as citizens of the world.

“The Best Start” is highly socially oriented, paying a lot of attention to health equity, social justice, and building cohesive communities that could provide decent support for families in their critical situations. Realizing themselves as a part of the community is one of the main needs for immigrant parents, and the first step for that is inspiring them to be socially active. Currently, the 16-sessions program was finished, and here is some feedback from parents:

“I liked that program provided me a lot of structured information, easy to understand, with examples; I’ve got a lot of support from the coach, and the atmosphere in the group and the feedback were very encouraging.”

“I found the session helpful and enjoyable, suitable for any parent interested in improving their parenting competencies and improving relationships with children.”

“I come to the group to learn again and again that I am actually a good mother. I don’t know how it works, but I really feel more confident!”

Finally, to keep in touch with ICDP parents and facilitators, CCWF has created “The Best Start Parenting Club” group on Facebook.

CCWF loves bringing people together and building strong and supportive communities because our vision is that for every child and adolescent to be supported in positive development by caregivers and professionals within loving, non-violent families and peaceful communities.

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ICDP break-through in German day-cares

Update about ICDP work by Rita Crecelius, ICDP trainer, October 2021

During 2021, ICDP became known to more day-cares in Germany.

  • In June, 18 members of the day-care team responsible for 88 children at the St. Thomas day-care, completed their ICDP caregiver training. They were proud to be the first day-care team in Germany to hold an ICDP certificate.

According to their leader Ana Vázquez-Zimmermann all team members reported that ICDP has been continuously enriching their everyday life. Some noticed that the crib familiarization was much more relaxed this year. Most colleagues think that the “view of the child” has become more natural and that they themselves no longer come under so much pressure in certain challenging situations.

Ana said: “We were also able to advance team development with the help of the ICDP guidelines. ICDP should be our second bible!”

  • In November 2021, I will conduct the first refresher course for the team at the St. Thomas day-care. The day-care belongs to “Kirchenkreis Hildesheim-Sarstedt”. This company is a provider of 22 day-cares in total and their interest in ICDP is growing there.
  • In May 2021, Impuls Soziales Management, provider of 40 day-cares all over Germany, started an ICDP pilot project in their “Kinderhaus Frech Daxe” day-care. This day-care has 50 team members in charge of 176 children, whose parents are working at VW Financial Services in Braunschweig. Two out of five groups of their day-care workers have already received their caregiver ICDP certificates. The pilot will be completed in January 2022. The feedback has so far been very positive. One of the day-care workers said: “It is incredible, how quickly and effortlessly are things changing for the better thanks to ICDP”.
  • In September 2021, I presented ICDP at a school for children with special needs and as a result, we are now planning a trial ICDP workshop for teachers.
  • I have previously conducted an ICDP course for caregivers of older people, which aroused a lot of interest in ICDP. This year I plan to hold another such course in November 2021, in Hameln – there have been quite a few registrations for it.
  • I was also approached to give a presentation about ICDP by a team from the Caritas Forum Demenz organization. They are specialists in geriatric psychiatry and organize training for carers of older people and people with dementia, in the Region of Hannover.
  • Bunte Gruppe is a free, non-institutional body providing training for carers from different fields. In July 2021, I completed the training of 6 carers, Bunte Gruppe 3. I have also been training Bunte Gruppe 4, consisting of 7 carers, including two from Austria – their training will be completed in November 2021. This is my first ICDP hybrid-training: Four of the participants attend the workshop in person, whereas the other three are online and appear on the screen – so this is my first ICDP “hybrid training”. The whole group is interacting well, participants are building bridges between the virtual and the real world – this is an interesting experience in itself!

The technical equipment for this kind of “hybrid workshops” is facilitated by a network of creative professionals called KreHtiv, in the region of Hannover. In spring 2021, they started a “Fond for Digitization” to which I applied; I was successful and received a financial contribution thanks to which I was able to establish ICDP online events in a professional way. This has enabled me to reach more participants – thank you KreHtiv!

Throughout 2021, I discovered that day-care workers in my country welcome ICDP and are eager to work with the relational approach.

Therefore, my plan for 2022, is to train key persons in day-cares as ICDP coaches. Their task will be to support colleagues and teams, so that they keep on expanding the ICDP approach in their daily routines.

My goal is to anchor the relational perspective in a sustainable way in the work of professional caregivers. In this way, we can develop resilience in both children and their caregivers – resilience being a key factor in times of uncertainty and social change.

An expert of the World Health Organization said: “ICDP is food for a healthy brain”. This food was tasted by quite a large number of children’s caregivers in Germany during the course of the year – and it seems they wish it to become their regular diet.