What works for reintegrating disengaged children and young people?

This systematic review from The Campbell Collaboration summarises the effectiveness of harm-reduction and reintegration-promotion interventions for “street-connected” children and young people (ie, who live or work in street environments) up to the age of 24.

Eleven studies evaluating 12 interventions from high-income countries were included in the analysis (the authors note that they did not find any sufficiently robust evaluations conducted in low- and middle-income countries). All of the studies used a comparison group study design and were randomised or quasi-randomised. Interventions were included if their goal was to have an impact on any of the following key outcomes: inclusion, reintegration, health, well-being, and/or educational and occupational achievement.

The results of the studies were mixed, but overall the authors found that there were favourable changes from baseline in outcomes for most participants in therapy-based interventions and also in “standard” services (youth drop-in centres and shelters). However, no study measured the primary outcome of reintegration or reported on adverse effects.

Source: Interventions for Promoting Reintegration and Reducing Harmful Behaviour and Lifestyles in Street-connected Children and Young People: A Systematic Review (2013), The Campbell Collaboration.

Success for group-based parenting programmes

A new systematic review has shown that group-based parenting programmes can improve children’s behaviour problems in the short-term, as well as developing positive parenting skills and reducing parental anxiety, stress, and depression.

The review, which was produced for the Cochrane Collaboration, also concluded that these programmes were cost-effective when compared to the long-term social, educational, and legal costs associated with childhood conduct problems. The review was based on trials involving more than 1,000 participants in total.

Source: Behavioural and cognitive-behavioural group-based parenting programmes for early-onset conduct problems in children aged 3 to 12 years (2012), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews