On the 14th of April 2021, the ICDP foundation issued a Facilitator diploma to Dahliani Anne Drejza. Dahliani lives in Oslo but she carried out in her native French both her practical project with families and her written report about it.
“Dahliani is trained as a Montessori teacher; she is naturally empathic and warm towards children, as well as with adults. Over the years she has shown interest in the ICDP programme and has been following closely the gradual ICDP developments worldwide. Some of our ICDP board members and founders had the pleasure of enjoying delicious cakes she prepared for us each time we had a meeting in Oslo. Due to her busy life with little free time, her intention to become involved in ICDP remained unfulfilled until recently. I am very glad that she has recently become an ICDP facilitator. We don’t have many facilitators who can deliver ICDP in French. I enjoyed working with Dhaliani in person before the pandemic, when she participated in the training I conducted in England. During my recent online meeting with her, we discussed her ICDP work with parents. She will be an asset for ICDP, thanks to her background experience, sensitivity and ability to communicate it to others. ” – Nicoletta Armstrong, ICDP chair and trainer.
ICDP activities are conducted on an ongoing basis in Ukraine nationwide and there are facilitators in several cities, Kharkov, Kieve, Odessa, Vinnitsa, Zaporozhye, Kramatorsk, Severodonetsk and Chernigov – and each city has a coordinator who informs the ICDP Ukraine organization about specific details regarding local ICDP activities.
Due to the corona virus pandemic in 2020, Sergey Krasin and Anna Trukhan, both ICDP trainers, were unable to travel around the country to conduct ICDP training and supervision in person, as they would normally do. Instead, they carried out the ICDP work through internet platforms. They managed to meet in person only some of the ICDP participants in Kharkov, the city in which they live.
In the spring, Sergey and Anna conducted a two-day online network conference as a special event for ICDP facilitators. During this event they conducted 3 master class workshops. Participants found sharing of experiences particularly useful.
During 2020, some facilitators had problems adapting to online work, which they found tiring and for which they lacked tools, so they asked for assistance. In response Sergey and Anna went on supporting the work of facilitators through virtual means throughout 2020. One of the questions that arose was finding a solution to how to do role plays, since these were not possible to conduct in person. Facilitators are now using the Zoom personal room for three people to carry out some practical tasks. For the purpose of virtual training some new materials and tools were created by trainers and these were shared with the network of facilitators.
In the Lugansk region parents live in very stressful conditions, especially those living along the border who tend to suffer from permanent emotional anxiety. In order to help these families two facilitators (who happen to be husband and wife) joined a Polish social organization that runs its interventions in the Lugansk area through a mobile team. By taking part in the mobile unit the couple managed to deliver ICDP to families that otherwise would have been impossible to reach.
In addition to parents, preschool and school teachers were also trained in different parts of the country.
In 2021, the government restrictions were changed and the new regulation allows meetings of up to twenty people, which opened up the scope of ICDP training.
Fifteen new facilitators were certified on 1st of March 2021. The newly trained facilitators work with vulnerable parents who were raised in orphanages. Most of these parents have several children, but they tend to find parenting very difficult. ICDP provides them with the kind of support they require and has strengthened their confidence enhancing their parenting skills.
Sergey and Anna adapted the format and delivery of the ICDP programme in line with the new educational policy in Ukraine. They are continuing to work on their PhD dissertation trying to prove that teachers could greatly benefit from becoming facilitators – this is conceptualized as a new approach to teaching, which they hope will be approved by the Ukrainian government at some point.
ICDP Ukraine operates under a local membership organization that was formed before Sergey and Anna (who are both psychologists) were trained in ICDP. Their organization has 93 members who are based in 26 cities of Ukraine, and of which 43 members now hold ICDP diplomas. Membership includes psychologists, teachers, doctors, and other professionals from schools, preschools, universities and NGOs. Member fees help run ICDP Ukraine. Members provide support through information sharing and networking. Through the network members exchange experiences on topics from different areas of work and help organize ICDP groups through their local contacts. On the other hand, Sergey and Anna’s organization is a member of a bigger network of psychologists, that consists of 15 organizations – and that is another area of networking for ICDP Ukraine.
The above was based on the verbal report via Zoom by Sergey Krasin and Anna Trukhan, ICDP Ukraine leaders, to Nicoletta Armstrong, ICDP chair.
Aura Estella Mendoza is the ICDP representative at the INPRHU organization in Ocotal, Nicaragua. She explained how COVID-19 had affected their work in 2020.
The ICDP team at INPRHU had to change their working hours and were forced to reduce their coverage, as a result of which they attend less adults and children in their projects then originally planned. At some point they were not allowed to meet in person, so they used the radio to communicate the content of the ICDP messages. However, the good news is that by mid March 2021 all went back to normal.
During 2021, they will be organizing new ICDP workshops in order to train in ICDP some of their new staff, particularly since two of their ICDP trainers left the organization in 2020.
INPRHU has institutionalized ICDP in their programmes called: comunicación social (social communication), intervención familiar (family intervention) and also in their work with teachers. This means that they apply the programme with families, teachers and directly with children. All ICDP work is documented.
In 2020, they visited families whenever that was allowed by government policies related to the pandemic and the facilitators held ICDP meetings not only with mothers, but with the whole family. This is a policy which they established in order to help families in general and in particular those families that are often plagued with problems related to violence. According to Aura, the ICDP roll out produced good results and it proved to be effective in the family circle; ICDP was accepted by mothers and fathers.
The INPRHU is a big organization that is present in different parts of the country. It is 64 years old, although it was only registered in the 1980s due to political reasons (a government change facilitated the registration). The founder was a professional in Managua, who became Minister in 1980s and began working on many social projects all over the country. He died twenty years ago but the organization is still continuing. It has long established donors that have been contributing regularly for 10, 15 and even 20 years. The founder’s hope was that INPRHU would reach 100 years – which is still their hope. There is an INPRHU national centre in Managua, and Aura attends their board meetings where future plans and policies are discussed. Funding comes from abroad, as well as inside the country.
From 2018 a new law was introduced in Nicaragua requiring organizations who receive funding from abroad, to fill in forms and produce a new type of documentation. Such organizations have to have Constancia de cumpimento – which is a government document confirming that they have produced and submitted all required documents. INPRHU managed to prepare all these new documents, which was a huge and rather stressful task during 2020. They are now waiting for the confirmation certificate from the government, which is taking time as there are 2000 NGOs in Nicaragua.
In Hargeisa, Somaliland, a follow up of ICDP based parenting sessions, education and family budgeting sessions was conducted in 2020. The participants were asked questions about what they understood and learnt from the ICDP based parenting and family budget sessions. The questions were based on the 9 sessions of the ICDP based parenting and 2 sessions on family budgeting.
20% of those who had received the parenting sessions were asked to answer the questions and over 80% of caregivers/ parents mentioned that the training improved their perception on parent child relationship, child education and gender.
Communities showed great willingness to change the cultural belief that ‘’Educating a girl is just a waste of resources ‘’ and now appreciate the concept that children both boys and girls have equal rights to learn.
The Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP) project, which includes the ICDP parenting sessions, expanded to an additional location, to Baidoa, in South Central Somalia. The plan is to train 150 additional households in 2021 on ICDP based parenting.
We also plan to run refresher parenting sessions with parents/caregivers in Hargeisa, Somaliland.
Additionally, looking at the impact parenting sessions made at the community and household level, teachers of government schools in the project area started to show keen interest and requested to be included and trained on the ICDP based parenting sessions.
Mukesh Lath, Senior Social Protection Advisor at Save the Children
The organization Red ICDP Bolivia (ICDP Bolivia Network) acts as the vehicle for the implementation of the ICDP programme in the country. Year 2020 has been challenging due to the pandemic, however, more than half of the planned activities were achieved as planned. ICDP coordinator Olivia Sullca informs:
In 2020, the ICDP team had set itself three objectives: 1) To train and support new facilitators to exten the application of ICDP in the municipalities of Santa Cruz, Cochabamba and Potosí. 2) To provide monitoring to facilitators previously trained in the programme’s methodology. 3) To strengthen the ICDP network in the country in order to sustain the work in the future.
The execution of this plan was not achieved fully, only by 64 percent which was due to difficulties caused by the corona virus. The adverse factors include the suspension of activities in the Educational Units and Health Centres, where the programme has been implemented with the participation of caregivers.
With regards to organizing and forming groups of facilitators and/or volunteers, this objective was achieved in some of the municipalities such as Santa Cruz, Potosí and Tinguipaya. In Cochabamba it was not possible to form a group and only one person was trained as facilitator.In the municipality of Acacio, the group of facilitators were formed as planned but people from the health sector were unable to attend because health personnel was obliged to deal with the health emergency of COVID-19.
Once the quarantine was made more flexible, the facilitators trained the caregivers in person in rural areas and in the city the virtual platforms were used.
The trainers from Red ICDP Bolivia provided online monitoring support to groups of facilitators in the different regions of the country.
The evidence from monitoring of the implementation of the ICDP programme showed that the newly trained facilitators succeeded in conducting ICDP courses for 178 caregivers. The original plan as to reach 250.
The training activity for caregivers in complementary topics was not fulfilled due to the suspension of classes in the Educational Units, whose beneficiaries were the parents.
Regarding home visits, which were aimed at reinforcing the contents of the programme, in a year where COVID-19 forced children to stay at home, this was achieved by 62% of planned visits.
The envisaged national network meeting for facilitators did not take place, however, the facilitators were trained in several complementary topics: self-esteem, child development, behaviour regulation and attention in crisis situations. This training was conducted through virtual media with the participation of 20 facilitators nationwide.
Heidi Westborg, ICDP Norway chair, informs that in Norway there was a reduction of ICDP groups especially in the first part of 2020 when the pandemic hit the country. The work picked up later in the autumn but then there was another lockdown. In view of this situation and restrictions caused by COVID-19, ICDP Norway decided to apply for funding to run a digital project. They were successful, so the team started to plan a pilot project. In order to run digital groups, the first thing to do is to master the pedagogy of this way of working and to understand the technical part takes 3 hours of training. The key question for ICDP is how not to lose the essential quality of the programme, how to maintain the ICDP positive effect which has always depended on face-to-face interaction, when working digitally. In order to develop a good pilot project and answer these questions, the ICDP team has been having discussion with a professional in digitalization. The funding has also been used to produce a video about ICDP in the light of the corona pandemic. The video has been produced in several languages, for several nationalities. The Norwegian version has English subtitles. Follow this link to see the video: https://www.icdp.no/video-when-the-world-feels-insecure/
For many years the ICDP programme roll out in Norway was centralized by the government organization Bufdir. However, there has been a decentralization of the way ICDP is run, as Bufdir passed the responsibility to a specific branch, a directorate called SKM that administers all parenting programmes in Norway on behalf of the municipalities. ICDP Norway has regular meetings with SKM to keep informed and maintain quality control. SKM holds ICDP in high esteem as a universal programme and despite lockdown, they are continuing with training online. There is a new introduction programme for refugees with a compulsory parenting programme module and the recommendation from SKM and the official guidelines for integration of refugees recommend that ICDP should be used. The particular strength of the ICDP programme was found to be its cultural adaptability and no other programme is considered to be as strong on this.
In 2019 ICDP established cooperation with the International Assistance Mission (IAM) and three health professionals received training and became ICDP facilitators.
In March 2021, ICDP Afghanistan representative Fattah Najm (on photo), talked with Nicoletta Armstrong, his trainer, and reported:
“During 2020 we were unable to carry out ICDP training as we had to prioritize issues related to the COVID 19 pandemic, which took great deal of our time. However, we are going to start with the training again in May 2021, immediately after the Ramadhan month of fasting. We are ready, the covid situation has abated, we have a designated training room where we will be holding regular workshops on each Tuesday. We will eventually train all our members of staff, 70 people altogether. ICDP has made a strong impact here and our staff is keen to continue receiving the training, they heard good stories from those we have trained already and all are asking to participate in ICDP. The way ICDP works is different from other programmes – the practical experiences, the making of videos of us playing with children generated a new informal atmosphere and brought laughter and happiness. ICDP has opened the door for our expressions of love and close interaction with children which was latent – we all had it in us but after ICDP it is being freely expressed. We look forward to continuing and we will be taking the programme to different communities in the future.”
Save the Children Zambia has been implementing a parenting program that uses the International Child Development Program (ICDP) approach to promote positive parenting. In 2020 the focus of the program was to increase the uptake of parenting session among identified households through conducting awareness raising activities. Awareness raising activities resulted in the creation of a critical mass of parents and caregivers who received the parenting sessions. A total of 648 (424 females and 224 males) attended the awareness raising. A total of 574 households were mapped for training in the child sensitivity package. From the mapped households, 500 households were enrolled to receive the whole Child Sensitive Package and this includes the parenting package.
Implementation of the Child Sensitivity Package started in September 2019 and was finalized in October 2020, the aim of the parenting sessions was to increase positive parenting through promoting positive interactions between the caregivers and children. The parenting sessions were conducted with parents /caregivers with children between the age of 0 to 12 years using the ICDP approach.
Despite the parenting sessions coming to a halt when Zambia recorded its first case of the Covid 19 in March 2020 and the resultant enforcement of Government’s restriction of public gatherings as a way of mitigating COVID-19, parenting sessions resumed on 26th May 2020, using a modified approach of conducting sessions back-to-back and with adherence to protective and preventive measures put in place to prevent exposure to contracting Covid 19.
The “back-to-back session” is an approach where sessions are conducted 3 or 4 days in a roll without skipping a day as opposed to having a session once per week. With this modified model of delivering parenting sessions, the Project Team managed to complete the parenting session, including three additional modules, Gender Transformative, Importance of Education and the Risk of Child Labour by 30th November 2020.
A total of 466 households with a total of 481 participants (336 females and 145 males) out of the targeted 500 households completed the parenting session representing 93 % completion rate.
After completing the parenting sessions, 25 home visits were conducted by facilitators in Kansanta (Chief Shibuchinga) and Kamabaya and Mibenge (Chief Lumpuma). Some of the findings from the home visit revealed positive parenting skills from the caregivers/ parents and families as follows:
Improved interactions between caregivers and their children
For example, one caregiver in Kansanta said that she never had time to chat or join her children when they were playing; her children feared her because she would shout at them a lot. She now has created time to play with them.
Positive discipline without the use of violence
For example, one parent in Kansanta, said she appreciated the session on setting limits for children and during the home visit. She revealed that, previously “I used to shout at the children to manage unwanted behavior. I personally did not know that it was possible to suggest options to children to elicit for positive behavior change in children”. The caregiver explained that after attending the sessions, she learnt that, she needs to calmly explain why the behavior in a child is not appropriate and if anything suggests to the child, some alternatives.
During the award presentation ceremony that was done for all participants that completed the 12 sessions of the parenting module, most of the parents were able to talk about the 8 ICDP parenting guidelines and 3 ICDP dialogues that were learnt during the sessions, how they had put them into practice and the skills that they learnt, while the 25 households that were visited also indicated a reduction in violence towards children because parents had improved their interaction with children.
Best Practice: participation of couples during parenting session
One of the best practices noted during the period under review was the participation of couples during parenting session. For example, six couples attended parenting sessions in Kalembula, Filando/Miseshi and Pa Njose, a practice that was being encouraged across the other parenting groups in order to promote male participation as currently there were more female caregivers attending parenting sessions than their male counterparts.
This March 2021 update is based on the report by ICDP trainers, Anisah Andrade and Patricia Garcia, who have been working on the ICDP project for teachers since August 2020. Their project represents cooperation between ICDP Colombia and the Tebaida Education Institution, and it is funded by the SDIA organization.
The project’s objective is to transfer the ICDP methodology (at caregiver and facilitator levels) to teachers, in order to strengthen their capacity for establishing good quality interactions inside the classroom; to enable teachers to deliver the ICDP course to parents so as to enhance their parenting skills and sensitivity towards children; to promote in the educational community good coexistence and communication, through the application of the ICDP principles.
The ICDP training was initially aimed at primary school teachers, but there was a request to include secondary school teachers as well. The work was supposed to start in March 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic this was not possible and the first activities began in August.
Since the planned workshops could not take place in person due to the government restrictions, trainers conducted weekly ICDP Reflection Forums via Zoom, each lasting one hour and a half. These virtual meetings were attended by two groups of teachers in the period between September and December 2020. One group was comprised of 19 primary school teachers and the other of 23 secondary school teachers.
The ICDP trainers soon realized that the teachers were experiencing high levels of stress.
“Due to the lockdown and the impossibility of face-to-face classes, teachers had to reorganize their work, develop new pedagogies, methodologies and technological tools. They had to prepare entirely new materials designed for children to learn each subject with the support of their parents.We soon realized that the educational system needed to guarantee not only the protection of the teachers’ jobs but that it was crucial it also took care of the teachers’ well-being, to help reduce levels of exhaustion and stress.As trainers we showed our appreciation and recognized the hard work that teachers had assumed during the pandemic, and we adapted our ICDP agenda in order to provide a special space for teachers to express themselves, talk about their situations and to give them emotional support.” – Anisah Andrade.
During the first three months in 2021, the ICDP trainers continued to conduct Zoom meetings with the two groups of teachers. During this period, they focused on the three ICDP dialogues and the eight guidelines for good interaction, which teachers explored, observing their own behaviour and sharing about their experiences in relation to school children and also the way they applied the three dialogues with their own children at home. Due to the pandemic, trainers could not carry out the planned filming of classroom interactions. However, the teachers made short films of interactions with their children at home and these provided material for sharing.
By the end of March 2021, the teachers were ready and keen to embark on their practical self-training projects. The primary school teachers will be delivering an ICDP course to parents and the secondary school teachers will give a course to adolescents. Each teacher was given the ICDP printed set of materials (”ICDP mochila”) and enough copies of the ICDP booklets to give to all the parents they are working with. The teachers will be facilitating parent groups in person and/or online, depending on how the pandemic evolves.
The importance of defining and seeing a child in a positive way was one of the topics that impacted the teachers – below are some of their examples and comments:
“I was told regarding the behaviour of a child who in the previous grade was with another teacher, that this child was distracted, unwilling to do things. I made a special effort to focus with him, and discovered how to motivate him. He became creative and sociable. I saw that he was quite capable and affectionate. All these qualities were before overshadowed by negative concepts.”
“We tend to take the first impression to quickly label children, parents and other people. But then trust is lost, so it is important to reconstruct concepts in a positive way and learn to see with different eyes, and to create more positive experiences.”
“Most teachers complained about a boy in grade 7. He was described as lazy, rude and was given many negative evaluations. This boy came to my class. I began to take him into account asking him to help me with other classmates. I soon discovered that he had a very evident ability, his creativity was very good at comic drawing, I saw a lot of talent, his grades improved and he became the best in the class.”
ICDP USA operates under the Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation (CCWF) which is based in Chicago. It is led by Kimberly Svevo-Cianci, who shares an update:
With our partners at University of Chicago, Chapin Hall and Northwestern University – we are pleased to report on 2014-2020 “ICDP: Best Start for Families-A Health Equity Approach” evaluation results on over 500 caregivers. They demonstrate “The Best Start’s” high potential to support parents and caregivers while providing positive, non-violent parenting support through its guideline-based relationship-building curriculum. The ICDP-USA Best Start study shows evidence of increases in parental self-efficacy, positive parent-child interaction, and positive discipline and decreases in psychological and physically aggressive/abusive approaches to discipline.
Our programs support families through schools, mental health or substance abuse agency referrals, jail or incarceration, as well as those suffering past or current stresses, including military families, teen and grandparents, those with children with special needs, divorce, immigration or relocation – seeking supportive community.
During the pandemic, our “Best Start for Families” parenting programs barely skipped a beat with several partners. Parents and schools told us they did not want to stop our supportive Parenting Learning Groups or complementary Children’s Programs – so with the support of our U-46 Illinois Park Early Childhood Center (Elgin) partners, we quickly developed policies, procedures, more robust online educational resources, the technology and the expertise needed to adeptly transition to on-line programming.
Number of professionals including students that were trained in 2020 is 118; number of parents and caregivers served is 175 and the number of children supported is 577.