The pervasive impact of poverty on children: tackling family adversity and promoting chlild development through the Pathways to Prevention project
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The Pathways to Prevention Project involves a university-community organisation-schools partnership designed to bring together a range of programs to reduce the strength of the association between social disadvantage and poor developmental outcomes for children growing up in one of the most disadvantaged urban areas in Queensland. Beginning from an understanding that development is tied to the social contexts in which it occurs, one strategy that became an immediate driving force for program activity was to provide an accessible and sensitive family support service to strengthen family function and promote positive child-rearing conditions. The Family Independence Program (FIP) is focused on the goal of family empowerment and supporting families through adversity. Correlation analysis confirmed that level of family adversity was related to children's developmental competence (language, behaviour and prosocial skills) and that this relationship was most likely mediated by parent efficacy. Preliminary analyses of the effect of FIP involvement indicate its positive impact on parents' sense of efficacy and sense of being supported in the parenting role. It is concluded that supporting families in dealing with adversity is a key to promoting positive outcomes for children. Furthermore, it is argued that a comprehensive approach is required wherein family oriented programs such as Pathways to Prevention form part of a wider societal movement to reduce the social and economic stressors that impact on family function.
Pathways and Crime Prevention: Theory, Policy and Practice
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