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8. Effective interventions where children have experienced harm or have emotional or behavioural difficulties

  • It is important to recognise the need for long term targeted intervention for children and parents where children may have experienced significant harm or where children are exhibiting emotional and behaviour difficulties. However, the research base in respect of both interventions with parents and children and young people does not suggest that any one intervention is most effective.
  • In respect of parents, there is some evidence of the success of parenting programmes to address a range of concerns about parenting. However it also suggests that success is far from universal and may be related to the parenting concern which the programme is trying to address. Home visiting programmes have been shown to be effective for pre-school children at risk in ‘hard to reach’ families.
  • For children, tailored interventions and packages of support should take account of a child’s individual needs and wider networks. They should focus on the establishment of positive relationships of trust between the child, their carers and key professionals in their lives.
    Quinton, 2004; Barlow, 2006; Sinclair et al, 2005; McAuley et al, 2006
  • Where children become looked after due to maltreatment or neglect, careful assessment of the feasibility of return to parental care is needed, with intensive support provided to both children and parents where children are returned.
    Farmer et al, 2008