High risk children with challenging behaviour : changing directions for them and their families

Rose, Wendy; Aldgate, Jane; McIntosh, Miranda and Hunter, Helen (2009). High risk children with challenging behaviour : changing directions for them and their families. Child and Family Social Work, 14(2) pp. 178–188.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2206.2009.00622.x

Abstract

This paper is about an evaluation of three centre-based projects established by a voluntary organization under the Scottish Government’s Youth Crime Prevention Fund, to work with primary schoolaged children displaying challenging and antisocial behaviour. Following a brief overview of what is known about effective interventions, the paper describes the projects’ ways of working, including their remit and ethos. The core intervention chosen was the well-tested Webster-Stratton training programme, The Incredible Years. Wrap around services were also developed and staff modelled the projects’ ethos, promoting children’s participation and parents’ empowerment. The evaluation is described, noting the limited time and resources at the disposal of the evaluation team. The evaluation team adopted a broad definition of evidence, using a range of measures to explore the processes of project development and service intervention, the meaning to the children and families who used the services, and the impact on children’s behaviour and parents’ levels of stress. The results were modest but encouraging. They suggested that the projects had provided valuable turning points for some of the children with out-of-control behaviour and their families. Finally, it is suggested that a better way to evaluate such projects could be to use complexity theory

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