ICDP, as violence prevention strategy

In El Salvador, the police are beginning to use the ICDP programme to prevent violence.

The ICDP programme has been consistently used in El Salvador for 12 years now – during that whole time its implementation has not ceased to expand and spread to new target groups.

The most recent initiative involves UNICEF, ISNA (The Salvadoran Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents), the NGO called EDUCO and the Police (PNC) - they are all cooperating together on a new ICDP project to be implemented over a period of two years (2018 and 2019).

The objective is to strengthen the capacities of the PNC to develop programmes using the ICDP method to prevent violence against girls and boys within the family, encouraging respectful parenting practices and the creation of functional relationships within families.

The ICDP intervention will be taking place in selected communities that were prioritized in 26 municipalities in different parts of El Salvador. During phase I ICDP training is focused on creating teams of facilitators within the police (PNC staff members will be trained as ICDP facilitators) and in phase two these facilitators will be working with families.

There are already 94 trained facilitators within the PNC, of which 47 belong to the Prevention section and 47 are from the Police Welfare department.

The work in stage II is planned to reach 1,000 families in selected communities, and this includes families linked to the police corporation.

“ On my recent visit to San Salvador, I was able to participate in one ICDP workshop session  – it was attended by members of the police. These were all police chiefs who were being introduced to the ICDP programme in order to better understand and facilitate the ICDP practical work of their staff. It was a surprising but touching experience that revealed an aspect of the police one does not normally see - I was moved by the sensitivity of all participants who spoke with deep understanding of the importance of the empathic approach towards children and of creating loving relationships inside the family. They referred to their own childhood experiences, some quite harsh ones but always expressing a positive vision for the future. It is the first time that the ICDP programme is going to be rolled out by members of the police and on such large scale - so El Salvador is pioneering something new, special and important. Furthermore, the police academy has shown interest in carrying out an evaluation study about the impact of ICDP – this will take place at a later stage. The other interesting development here is the work we are starting now on the adaptation of ICDP for families of adolescents.” – Nicoletta Armstrong, ICDP chair and international trainer for El Salvador.