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ICDP annual report 2021

Click here to download the report.


ICDP course in Stafford, England

Read the summary of the project for Syrian families, which was carried out in cooperation with “Stafford Welcomes Refugees”.

Stafford Welcomes Refugees (SWR) is a constituted voluntary group of local people. It 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. The group also wish to provide a welcome and support for any refugees coming to Stafford. From these initial aims SWR has developed, and now has several action groups which work on specific areas.

SWR website:


ICDP in Ukraine

In November 2021, a group of facilitators completed their training; nine persons from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Slavyansk, Gnedin received their diplomas as ICDP facilitators. On 23rd of February 2022, just a day before the war started in Ukraine, six trainees completed their training and received diplomas as ICDP regional trainers.

When the war started most of the ICDP Ukraine facilitators temporarily suspended their work, as they were forced to leave their homes, move to other cities or travel to other countries. However, at the end of March, they began their work again.

In April 2022, a new project was started aimed at providing psychosocial support to migrants and internally displaced persons. Ten facilitators (see photo) from Kharkiv, Odesa, Kyiv, Poltava and Zaporizhzhia took part in the project with the support from SD Britain and several other national members of the Susila Dharma International Association (SDIA).

By mid May 2022, a total of 325 people attended ICDP workshops, including 263 adults and 62 children.

Some facilitators have remained in Kyiv, Kharkiv and other frontline towns and cities, continuing to support parents and families where they can, even conducting classes with children in a bomb shelter in a subway. Others who left Ukraine to go to other countries are now working with children there as well as helping parents. Some of them have been able to carry out in-person support groups, others have resorted to online training sessions. Some come from a formal psychologist background, others are teachers or social workers. They agreed between them how best to use the funds given from SDIA to distribute between the group of facilitators, basing that on how many sessions they could practically carry out over the time given. Their activities included:

– consultations with parents on how to communicate with children
– crisis counselling
– dealing with trauma
– activities with children

ICDP fits well with other forms of support and therapy, particularly in groups where parents and children can share stories and the feeling of trust and healing can grow. Several facilitators use art techniques and games to help break down barriers and gain trust. Others will talk about film and talk about heroes to engage with the children and parents. Clients hear about ICDP through seminars and learn from colleagues or friends about the ICDP work, and come seeking help. Some use social networking and newsletters to let communities know about the training sessions. As situations calm down in Ukraine, facilitators are able to work better and more consistently.

The facilitators have found that many children are distressed by the conflict around them, many express restlessness and irritability, and are being neglected by their parents because their parents are distracted and emotionally traumatized themselves.  Many families have been separated and children are often being looked after by extended family members. By using physical touch, eye contact and talking and listening with love and engagement, they’ve helped parents reconnect with their children.  These are a few examples of testimonials (translated from Ukrainian):

“Thank you for the lessons and everything you do for the people – it is very important to have support, and you are like God’s helpers…thank you”

“I like that everything is simple and easy to communicate, although it is about serious and deep things. I like a lot of examples, videos, etc. Thank you for continuing your hard work!”

“I am very happy to take part in the programme. You treat every member so carefully. For me, as the mother of a small child, the ICDP programme is very relevant”


Training of trainers in Finland

A group of ten professionals from the Finnish Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters have been receiving training in the ICDP programme since November 2021, when they attended the first workshop at trainer level.

The second workshop was held in May 2022, and the final workshop will take place in November 2022. After the first workshop they started to train a new group of facilitators, which is part of the ICDP requirement for certification as ICDP trainers.

“At the May worksop the whole group of trainees showed keen interest, as well as a depth of understanding of the ICDP programme . ICDP has been part of the work of the Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters for eigth years now. The trainee trainers are all working with an extremely vulnerable population, often dealing with mothers and babies victims of violence or drug abuse and they support them through a range of programmes and activities, including ICDP. There is great commitment in the Federation to maintain the application of the ICDP programme and to extend the coverage. The new ICDP trainers and facilitators will be formed by 2023 who will be able to take the ICDP sensitization programme to many more mothers and children in different parts of the country. It has been a privilege working with this talented group of professionals.” – Nicoletta Armstrong, their trainer.


Activities in Dungarpur, India

ICDP trainer, Manish Prasad reports about activities in Dungarpur:

Meeting with District Level Departments on Planning, Implementation and Monitoring of Parenting Programme

After a substantial decline in the number of active cases of COVID-19 in the state, the government of Rajasthan completely withdrew the lockdown during the beginning of the year, and allowed the resumption of activities in the state. As a result, in Dungarpur, activities under CSSP project started taking pace. In March 2021, a meeting was organised with the Social Justice and Empowerment (SJE) department, as well as with key officials from all the concerned departments such as SJE, Education, Women and Child Development (WCD), Integrated Child Protection System (ICPS), Child Rights and Rural Development. The aim was to advocate for scaling up Palanhar Plus programme.

Assistant Director of SJE department talked about the initiatives under the Palanhar plus programme, and stated that the parenting sessions with the caregivers and the life skill sessions for their children are catalysts for change, by improving the way caregivers treat their children, and by enhancing the knowledge and skills of children for a better life. He then invited all officials to share their views on how to strengthen and scale up the Palanhar Plus programme.

SATHIN (the frontline workers of WCD department) who were also present, shared their experience of receiving the ICDP training by Save the Children.

The representatives of Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) emphasized the importance of the training programme in view of the vulnerability of the Palanhar children, and assured their support in mobilizing families to attend the parenting sessions.

The Education department representative shared his experience of attending the life skill training, which was conducted for teachers by Save the Children. Assistant Director of the SJE department thanked Save the Children for extending the Palanhar scheme to their department and asked for the life skill intervention to take place also in government homes for children in the future.

All departments agreed that the technical support to government’s frontline workers was a critical factor in scaling up the programme in the entire District. Save the Children emphasized that the convergence of all the departments was required to get an impactful result of the Palanhar plus programme, and that it was ready to provide technical support to frontline workers of these departments to cascade the programme to a maximum number of families. 

Training on parenting for the Frontline Workers of the WCD Department

Scaling up of the Cash Plus programme through the government has been on the agenda of the project since 2019.  Due to the lockdown in 2020, the plan to train Panchayat level frontline workers of the WCD department (called SATHIN) in Dungarpur was put on hold.

In 2021, with the withdrawal of lockdown in the state, the capacity building activities were resumed. In this context, Save the Children organized the training of the SATHIN on parenting skills in line with the ICDP module.

In 2021, the previously trained SATHIN workers provided support to new colleagues in conducting parenting sessions at the Panchayat level.

The training was completed in 4 stages and it included 25 SATHIN workers; 13 SATHIN from Kherwara Block of Udaipur and 12 SATHIN from Jhothri Block of Dungarpur. As a next step the SATHIN started forming groups of parents in their respective Panchayats, where they will conduct parenting sessions.

A letter of agreement for SATHIN to conduct sessions in the Panchayats was requested from the DWCD department in Udaipur and Dungarpur District which they agreed to provide. The new SATHIN will be given support during sessions by a trained facilitator from Save the Children.

Training on Parenting for Palanhar Families

Despite the continuous challenges of COVID-19 during the year, the sessions on life skills and parenting were regularly conducted with 160 children and their 160 caregivers. The Panchayat level workshops were organized with the 160 families in order to understand the learning they obtained from the implementation of Palanhar plus programme.

Keeping all the Covid protocol in place, the workshops were designed in 6 phases covering 16 Panchayats in total. The SJE department’s officials interacted with the families attending the workshop through online platform on the benefit of the Palanhar Plus programme of Save the Children and the operational issues the families face in the Palanhar scheme.

Parenting sessions with Palanhar caregivers:

The plan was to reach out to 128 caregivers through the parenting programme. The programme was conducted with groups of caregivers by the ICDP facilitator from Save the Children, followed by intensive home visits after every dialogue to gauge the learning level of the caregivers after the sessions.

Development of monitoring formats to measure the efficacy of the programme:

Several formats were developed for effective monitoring of the quality of facilitation in the delivery of parenting sessions. These formats are:

  1. Diary of the facilitator: To be filled by the facilitator after every session to gauge their own quality delivery of session and plan for its improvement.
  2. ICDP home visit guide: To observe the practices of parents/caregivers towards their children with respect to the specific sessions delivered and give positive, constructive and practical feedback on how to further strengthen desirable behaviors; the facilitator should do this in in detail and demonstrate with the caregiver’s children if they are at home, or ask the parent/ caregiver to demonstrate.
  3. Monitoring format for the trainer to observe the facilitator’s delivery of parenting sessions: To observe the quality of facilitation by the facilitator and support in its improvement. 

Facilitators take up new group in South Africa

The Ububele Educational and Psychotherapy Trust, based in Johannesburg - counts on a team of 13 ICDP facilitators since 2021.

Founded in 2000, Ububele has developed models of community-based mental health care to address the emotional trauma of South Africa’s past, the ongoing mental and physical effects of the cycle of poverty and the daily challenges faced by individuals, families and communities. The Ububele integrated ICDP as one of their activities to strengthen child and family mental health in the township of Alexandra – a densely populated, impoverished community with a myriad of challenges.

By May 2022 five new groups of parents started to receive the ICDP course: two are run in Alexandra and three groups, with 16 parents in each group, are run through Ububele partnership with the Field Band Foundation (FBF).

FBF is a South African national non-profit organization that has reached more than 40,000 youth since its inception in 1997. Modelled initially on the American-style marching band, the FBF’s performance style, choreography, rehearsal techniques, and uniforms draw on local traditions and practices resulting in a uniquely South African musical phenomenon.

The Field Band Foundation creates opportunities for the development and self- empowerment of young people through participation in music. The parents of the young FBF participants started to attend ICDP courses in 2022. Due to the positive reception of the ICDP programme, more groups are in planning for the rest of the year.

The photo above the text is of the group from Rays of Hope, who completed their ICDP course on the 12th of May 2022.


Progress in Botswana

ICDP had a positive impact in the Thamaga village, and as a result, the Ark and Mark Trust started to expand their work with the ICDP programme to different areas of Botswana.
In 2022, the ICDP training started in the Ramotswa, Gabane and Molepolole villages, and the work in all 3 villages is funded through the Department of Social Protection.

Read the full update.


ICDP at a vaccination clinic in Japan

Dr Hitoshi Maeshima, an ICDP trainer, shares the following experience:

In Japan, new coronavirus vaccination for children between the ages of 5 and 12 began in March 2022. 

At our clinic, we decided to inoculate by appointment 40 people, twice a week. This means working on Wednesdays and Saturdays for 4 hours each time. We hired six new staff members to help with the corona vaccination of children. Our team has been learning how best to deal with children during vaccination. 

I thought it was important for all involved to become acquainted with the essence of the ICDP programme, in order to deepen their understanding about interactions between adults and children, and for that purpose I conducted an ICDP session over a period of four hours. 

During that time, we discussed what it means to see children as human beings, and how to treat them in line with the ICDP’s 8 guidelines for good interaction. I asked the staff members how they felt about different situations and they tried to interpret these from the standpoint of a child. All participants were encouraged to share some of their happy childhood memories in relation to their own parents. 

We also examined what would be the most appropriate way of dealing with a child who refuses to be vaccinated when faced with the injection.

A 5-year-old girl came to our clinic with her mother and when she was about to be vaccinated, she started to cry, twisting her whole body and saying she didn’t like it. We exchanged views how to respond to this child. The staff agreed that it was easy to control a child by force, but this would create fear that would only add to the pain associated with the vaccination, and most importantly it would deeply hurt the child’s heart. We decided the best way would be to wait until the child felt better and consented to having the injection. The little girl kept crying and refusing to be vaccinated for further five minutes, so I moved her with the mother to another room. We continued to vaccinate other children. After about 10 minutes, the girl’s mother came to tell us that things were now fine and that her child was willing to receive the injection. Indeed, the little girl accepted the vaccine and was quiet while receiving it. 

The vaccination staff drew conclusions from this experience and decided never to apply a forceful approach with children who violently refuse to be vaccinated, but to wait until they calm down and feel ready for it. This would entail moving the child from a place of tension to a place of rest. Sufficient time should be allowed for the child to learn more about what was going to happen, to understand and accept the situation by talking about it. We concluded that this was the best way to avoid hurting the child’s heart. 


Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation – ICDP USA

Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation – 10th Year Anniversary UPDATE (2011-2021)

The Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation addresses the issue of “failure to thrive” in a 2-generational social context with the International Child Development Program. We invest in adult capacity to overcome past/current trauma, to thrive, to develop nurturing, pro-social relationships with their children. When adults, as children, receive sensitive, positive support, care, and interactions, they may thrive in positive communications, social-emotional skills, interpersonal relationships, education and future economic stability.

Today, in Illinois, 11% of the population lives in poverty, and nearly 11% have not completed a high school education. Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults live with a mental illness. Clearly, help is needed, and help provided to one generation, can support the next.

CCWF serves children/youth and parents/caregivers, to implement and strengthen empathy-based behaviors, communications and interactions into their daily lives. We partner with educators, administrators, mental health professionals and community leaders to train them/staffs as community-based facilitators of learning/support groups using our evidence-based psycho-social curriculum to strengthen protective adult-child relationships.

Population Demographics

The “Best Start” program has evaluated the impact of our program on a subset of 635 parents / caregivers. This subset studied participation of 360 (64%) Female and 199 (36%) Male participants. Of these, 274 (55%) participants were Hispanic/Latino, 109 (21.7%) were White, 91 (18.1%) were Black, and 18 (3.6%) were of two or more “races.”

Further, 303 (60%) of the participants were Married/Living with Partner, 138 (27.4%) were Single, and 60 (11.9%) were Separated/Divorced.

Participants’ education included 202 (41.6%) with High School Diploma; 135 (27.8%) with Some College, 82 (16.9%) with No Formal Education, and 52 (10.7%) with a Bachelor’s/4-year Degree.

Regarding Participant Employment Status, 169 (35.4%) participants were Full-Time employees, 109 (22.7%) were At-Home, 63 (13.2%) were Part-Time employees, and 78 (16.4%) were Unemployed.

On Individual Income, 117 (31.3%) were at $0-5,000 a year; 85 (22.7%) at $20,001-40,000; 57 (15.2%) made $10,000-20,000; 54 (14.4%) made $5,001-10,000; and 46 (12.3%) made $40,001-80,000.

The number of parents/caregivers and children served has been reduced significantly during COVID. However, during the pandemic, we also focused on strengthening our psycho-social programming for youth (11-24 years), and this is beginning to increase.

266 Adult/Caregiver clients from 2011-2014, in our early stages of development.  154 were served in 2015; 224 in 2016; 350 in 2017; 338 in 2018; and 330 in 2019.  

We have now served nearly 100 YOUTH with our 2019-2022 “Best Start-All About YOUth” program for Youth 11-24 years old, largely ethnic minority youth in low SES communities.

The pandemic caused great decreases as in-person school and program services were disrupted. However, we adapted our programming to virtual trainings of professionals as well as virtual programs for Parents and for Youth. That enabled us to serve 143 parents in 2020 and 158 in 2021. Over half of the parents that we served in 2020 and 2021 were high-need parents referred to us by the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services, or through the Kane County and Kendall County Jail systems.

Our contract and caseload with the Department of Child and Family Services (child welfare) doubled from 2019 to 2020, and again from 2020 to 2021. In 2022 we may see a 3-fold increase from 2021.  Our contract with Kane County Jail remained the same level, as the Sheriff partnered with our Foundation to support Detainees released early from the Jail during COVID, to receive stronger reintegration support with their families. The RESTORE community-based program funds is open to parents engaged in the Justice System – through court referrals, or DCFS, or pre-court diversion programs as well. This has served the community well.

Evaluation Results.

Based on 635 Best Start caregivers who completed both pre- and post-evaluation questionnaires, significant evaluation results are found in almost all metrics considered (Jan 2022).

With Tool to measure Parental Self-Efficacy (TOPSE), all areas (Emotion & Affection, Play and Enjoyment, Empathy & Understanding, Control, Discipline, Setting Boundaries, Pressures, Self-Acceptance, Learning & Knowledge, Resilience & Hope) show highly significant increase in self-report scores, as do scores overall (p-value < 0.001).

Caregivers show a highly significant increase in understanding and use of ICDP 8 guidelines (within Emotional, Comprehension and Regulation Dialogues, p-value < 0.001 for all). They report improvement in health/quality of life after program completion (p-value < 0.001 for both).

In the Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire, parents report significant improvement in their perceptions of child’s behaviors in all areas surveyed (Emotional Issues, Conduct Problems, Hyperactivity, Peer Interactions, Prosocial Behaviors). This suggests that the Best Start focus on empathy between parent and child may improve the child’s wellbeing, or promote a more positive parent outlook and focus on child’s positive behaviors.

There is a highly significant decrease in parental Psychological Aggression (p-value < 0.001); Physical Assault (p-value = 0.025) using the Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scale, suggesting the program promotes healthy, less harmful parent-child interactions.

HIGHLIGHTS – Parents with All Abilities (all disabilities)

So many parents, here is the story of one (2):

Belinda was referred to us in 2021, by the Assoc. for Individual Development, the year CCWF received a $5,000 Northwestern Univ. seed grant for one year of conversations with a parent population we had not yet served, parents with disabilities. We aimed to learn from these parents, and providers of people with disabilities, so we could design a program to best support their diverse needs. This mission began when another mom, Anne-with 14 disabilities (2 sons) contacted us to volunteer (2020). Anne loved her first parenting program and became trained as a facilitator. She facilitated our very first virtual parenting program for Parents of All Abilities (special needs). It was a strong success. However, Anne is currently in intensive medical care.

Belinda has 2 daughters (1 and 8 yrs), and participated in the weekly Parents of All Abilities program (2021-22). She walks with a cane, through the pain, and is currently undergoing cancer treatment. Belinda became a parent advisor, took our “Best Start” Facilitator training in Winter 2021-22, and now facilitates with a CCWF staff member, our Exceptional Families program (child welfare families for whom she is an advocate). Further, she is back in school to finish a college degree.

Kimberly Svevo-Cianci


ICDP China report

ICDP China leader, Jean Qin, informs of activities in 2021:

ICDP promotes the improvement of the quality of parent-child interaction, gender equality, and seeing the child as a person with their own rich inner life. This last part is quite controversial in China, and from the onset of introducing ICDP to China we have seen the positive effects of drawing attention to this; people start recognizing their own inner child and draw on these emotions to improve their parenting.

ICDP Training:

4655 caregivers have completed training in 2021.

Besides the parents, many of the caregivers are teachers and social workers who can reach many children in their daily work. A total of 381 professional caregivers were trained in 2021. About 50% of trained caregivers were people from minority groups.

267 new facilitators completed training at facilitator level.

5 trainers received online training from an ICDP international trainer in 2021.

Click here to read the rest of the report from ICDP China.