SINOVUYO KIDS Project
A study to develop a new prevention programme to reduce the risk of child abuse, for high-risk families with children aged 2-9.
The Sinovuyo Kids Project is part of the World Health Organisation's Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH), a suite of parenting programmes to reduce violence.
Child abuse is a major problem in South Africa. Children who are affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty are especially at risk – with rates from 40% to 60% among low-income children. Victims of abuse are more likely to drop out of school, engage in risky sexual behaviour and criminal activity, and continue the cycle of abuse with their own children.
Families with HIV-infected parents, foster parents, and/or parents who are victims of intimate partner violence are particularly high-risk groups for child abuse. For these parents and caregivers, the stresses of their health problems, of caring for multiple orphaned children and of their own childhood experiences can make parenting more difficult. Parenting interventions have been shown to reduce risks of child maltreatment. However, there are currently no evidence-based child abuse prevention programmes in the developing world for children ages 2 to 9.
The overall goal of the Sinovuyo Kids Project is to provide a low-cost programme to reduce the risk for child maltreatment and improve child behaviour in high-risk South African and Southern African families. It aims to help parents and caregivers develop nurturing relationships with their children while coping with stress from HIV/AIDS, poverty, and violence. In order to attain this goal, it also has the following specific objectives, to:
- Increase parenting knowledge, skill and sense of competence
- Improve positive parenting behaviour
- Improve parental supervision and monitoring of children
- Decrease inconsistent and harsh discipline
- Improve caregiver mental health and social support
The Sinovuyo Kids Project is an innovative 12-week programme that combines the latest scientific research on effective family interventions with culturally relevant approaches specific to South Africa.
The Sinovuyo Kids Project's research and evaluation component uses parental self-report questionnaires as well as observational assessments.
This study has employed internationally recognized scales and measures. The questionnaires can be accessed below:
The Sinovuyo Kids Project is currently being tested using the 'gold standard' of intervention research, a Randomised Controlled Trial with 250 families. The baseline, an immediate post-test, and the 12-month follow-up have been completed.
- Professor Lucie Cluver, Professor of Child and Family Social Work at the University of Oxford & Honorary Lecturer for the Department of Psychiatry & Mental Health at the University of Cape Town
- Dr. Catherine Ward, Head of Department for the Department of Psychology at the University of Cape Town.
- Dr. Jamie McLaren Lachman, Executive Director, Clowns Without Borders South Africa