ICS-SP wins coveted Best Practice Prize 2016

Promoting Children’s well-being: Economic and Social Support for families

ICS-SP is working to improve the living conditions of children in rural regions of East Africa. To that end, it combines evidence-based parenting training with support for farming families designed to improve their agricultural practices.

According to UNICEF, hitting, yelling and other forms of abuse are a regular part of the lives of many children around the world. Data from 58 countries show that 17 percent of children are beaten by parents or relatives. Three out of ten adults worldwide believe that corporal punishment is an acceptable way to discipline a child. In most countries, these attitudes are found primarily among adults with little education and among very poor families.

“In Kenya, two out of every three children are victims of physical violence; in Tanzania, this holds true for nearly 75 percent of all boys and girls,” says Beatrice Ogutu, Director ICS-SP Africa.

Fighting poverty, promoting early childhood development
ICS-SP works with families, communities and other stakeholders to create better living conditions for children so that they can grow up happy and healthy. At the heart of its efforts are programs for parents to prevent violence against children and promote early childhood development. These are coupled with agricultural training designed to promote productivity and increase family income. Many farmers are benefiting from this unique combination of economic and social support, and this combined approach is showing success – not only in fighting poverty, but also in promoting early childhood development.

Skilful Parenting and Childrearing
ICS-SP’s parenting training reflects recognition that the only way to change how children are brought up is to change parents’ behavior. Under the guidance of trained course leaders, parents learn more about appropriate childrearing methods. In seven modules, which address topics ranging from family relations and communication to child protection services, parents learn the basics of childrearing and have opportunities to discuss what they have learned. The program places emphasis on parents being good role models for their children. The program is not intended to promote a single approach and is mindful of local attitudes towards parenthood and the family.

Holistic approach
A sustainable increase in income, greater knowledge and improved parenting skills change how families function. Higher incomes reduce the stress of poverty and its effects on childrearing; better parenting skills, knowledge of children development, communication, and age-appropriate parenting strengthen family cohesion and improve parents’ self-concepts, and ultimately have a favorable effect on children’s well-being.

Best Practice Prize 2016
In recognition to its unique approach of combining evidence-based parenting training with agricultural training for farming families in rural regions of East Africa, the Jacobs Foundation presented the 2016 Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prize to ICS-SP.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jacobs Foundation