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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.

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Progress in Burkina Faso

October 2021

Update from Aubin Sanou, ICDP trainer and educator at Save the Children Burkina Faso (SC):

The ICDP activities are going well here on the ground. As part of the project activities, I have trained three new facilitators at SC, as well as a group of ten new facilitators, who are implementing the ICDP progarmme through different organizations in partnershiop with SC.

The new team of facilitators participated in the ICDP work of the old team of facilitators, by accompanying them in their field work. This made the process of their training a lot easier.

Alimata Sidibe who has been working closely with me as an ICDP trainer, has left SC; however, the new facilitators received coaching from other technical advisors at SC who had previously received training in ICDP in 2020.

During the training I used simulations of ICDP meetings with caregivers, in order to observe the application of the seven principles of sensitization – and this was useful as a method of learning.

The evaluation of the training was positive, all facilitators found ICDP training and its topics relevant to their work. Some of the comments from trained facilitators:

“Very impeccable training. This will allow the parents and ourselves to live better in our families. Congratulations to the trainers and to all the participants.”

“I learned a lot from this training. I will try as best as possible to implement the programme.”

“I was very happy to have taken part in this training because it enlightened me on a lot of things. I udnerstand parenting skills very well now.”

“I especially liked the group work because it made it possible to apply the training received in a concrete way.”

“The trainers have the right techniques to get the message across.”

“With regard to the content of the modules, this training must be perpetuated even after the project finishes. Also, a good follow-up will allow it to be extended to other programmes or projects.”

“The training was beneficial; it fulfilled a real need – greatly appreciated.”

“The training was really good; we received a lot of knowledge on parenting skills. This knowledge on parenting skills, this knowledge will be applied in the field. Thank you so much.”

“The training was well worth it. The programme was enriching.”

“The 8 guidelines and 7 principles of the ICDP programme will help us develop a good emotional, social and constructive relationship with children.”

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New facilitators at Jusoor

Training 11 participants up tofacilitatorlevel in the Bekaa Valley, in Lebanon, 2020/2021.

Report by Michelle MacDonald

Location: The participants were teachers at the two educational centres (primary school level) run by the Jusoor organization, located in the Bekaa valley, which is home to a large Syrian refugee community.

Number of participants: The teachers (6 male+ 5 female) were Syrian refugees themselves living either in the camps or nearby.

Challenges

My ICDP (face – to- face) sessions with this group started in 2020 but had to be interrupted due to the Covid situation- schools having closed their doors- and were only resumed(via Zoom) in April 2021, after I had moved back to the UK. Apart from the online sessions we formed an ICDP WhatsApp group in order to share insights, feedback on home tasks etc., particularly when the live sessions were not possible.

The problems faced by a displaced population, added to the intrinsic problems of a failing host state (Lebanon).  Covid was the last straw to an already deteriorating situation. This posed many challenges with delivering the ICDP training. Power outages and Wi-Fi interruptions resulted in sessions being cancelled at the last minute and then rescheduled only to encounter the same problem again. In spite of the numerous hurdles, the training (12 sessions) was successfully completed.

Feedback

The feedback from the teachers was very positive in spite of all the difficulties. They were grateful for the opportunity that the ICDP training gave them to express themselves in a safe environment. They were able to share their worries, their everyday challenges of constantly having to adapt to changing circumstances, to the deep changes in their way of life since leaving their country, but they also talked about their successes and their resilience. They discussed the impact this has had on their values, traditions, on the changing role of women and how this has affected parental roles and interaction with their children. They reflected on their roles as teachers and shared their insights within the group. They explored together ways they could make some changes in the classroom and gave each other positive feedback. They were very keen to start delivering the ICDP training at caregiver level to the parents of the children they teach, and in fact 2 new groups have already been started. During my 4 years of working with Syrian refugees in Lebanon, I formed 17 facilitators (who are linked to SOS Children’s Villages and Jusoor) and 63 participants at caregiver level.

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Pilot project in Ghana

In June 2021, a group of professionals who have been cooperating with ICDP Ghana for some time, started to receive training to become ICDP facilitators. After the June workshop and as part of their training they have been carrying out a pilot project by implementing the ICDP programme with twenty parents divided in 3 groups. Here is a report describing the progress of the pilot project:

Report by ICDP Ghana regarding training of facilitators and families.

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New plans for Brazil

In the second half of 2021, the ICDP chair has started to make plans with an ICDP facilitator on developing a new initiative for Brazil.  The ICDP facilitator Rosilene Thilesen became enthusiastic, inspired and determined to introduce the ICDP programme to social workers and families in Sao Paolo, in her native Brazil, where she has both family and good connections.

Rosilene Thilesen is currently receiving ICDP training online from Nicoletta Armstrong to become an ICDP cerrified trainer. She is also in contact with the ICDP trainer Polyanna Magalhães – Polyanna is also the representative for ICDP in Brazil and will offer background support to Rosilene’s work in the future.

“It is an opportune time to start ICDP in Sao Paolo, as it is a period of great need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many families require support, and most of all they need a sensitive approach and warm emotional support, which ICDP can provide so well. I am very excited to be working towards this goal and look forward to the first phase of the project. ” – says Rosilene.

This new ICDP training project in Sao Paolo will start in January 2022. The training will be provided for the local network of social workers linked to the Evangelical church Prova Viva and its pastor Bianca Toledo.

The second phase of the project will be working on introducing the ICDP programme to Rio de Janeiro, in the second half of 2022.

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ICDP trainer report from Dhaka

In July 2021, a meeting of the ICDP Bangladesh core team took place at which ICDP trainer and Project Co-Coordinator Sajeda Boby Akter presented a report in order to update the team on the developments of the ICDP programme in Bangladesh.

ICDP is expanding in the country in partnership with four major partners, namely LAMB, Friends of Basha, Salvation Army and Normisjon. The ICDP project has established an ICDP Support Group comprised of the Country Coordinator, expat volunteer, expat consultant and ICDP staff. Normisjon’s director and finance officer are also members of this group. This group meets online for the purpose of supervision of project activities.

In addition to ICDP facilitators, ICDP in Bangladesh has two trainers and several trainee trainers. Apart from Sajeda Boby Akter, Gerd Eli Haaland is the other ICDP trainer – they have together spearheaded most of the ICDP developments in the country. Since Eli returned to Norway during the summer 2021, she will support the ICDP team via Zoom and she also plans to offer support to the project in person during her visit to Bangladesh that is planned for November 2021. The project counts on the support from two other ICDP consultants as well as the ICDP chair.

During the first half of 2021, a number of planned trainings and follow-up progammes had to be cancelled due to the continuous threat from COVID-19. A Baseline Survey was conducted with10 facilitators, 15 children and 15 mothers from LAMB English Medium school and SIM Bangladesh project. One Facilitator level training was completed with seven participants from LAMB. Two more trainings are supposed to be held by the end of August for the participants from the Dhaka and Dinajpur region. In addition, two persons are receiving training so that they can start to train Normisjon project partners.

A total of 48 facilitations and 43 online meetings online were managed during the pandemic crisis. Supervision and monitoring had to be mostly conducted online. After lockdown/shutdown ICDP team hopes to complete all their planned targets.

The ICDP future implementation will involve five organizations in the first year (2022) and seven in the second year (2023). Each partner organization will nominate one person to represent them in the core team. An online training course to form new trainers is planned for ten facilitators from Normisjon, Lamb and SIM, so that by the end of June 2022, there will be seven ICDP certified trainers in Bangladesh.

The translation of a book about scientific research behind ICDP was finished and proof reading is in process.

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ICDP pedagogical days in Medellin

The Secretariat for Women which is linked to the local government in the city of Medellin, Colombia, organized a series of pedagogical days as part of their traditional yearly celebration of the Day of the Mother and Family. Within the framework of this celebration and in order to  exalt the work of caring for others, ICDP was invited to participate and present its programme.

The pedagogical days were established by the Medellin municipality in 2008, and in the current year 2021, these days aim to provide knowledge and tools to promote awareness about women’s autonomy, in terms of gender and early childhood, making visible the contribution they make to the country’s economy and  development. 

Juliana Zapata Romero from the Secretariat for Women created an alliance with ICDP Colombia and as a result two volunteer professionals, Carolina Montoya and Angélica Díaz, developed and conducted six  pedagogical days on the humanizing content and training in the ICDP programme. This ICDP training was attended by 94 women from three different groups linked to the Welfare Homes Programme of the ICBF institute (Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar/ICBF is the Colombian Family Welfare Institute) and it took place during the second week in June 2021.