SA Crime Quarterly
On-line version ISSN 2413-3108
WESSEL, Inge and WARD, Catherine L. A 'best buy' for violence prevention: Evaluating parenting skills programmes. SA crime q. [online]. 2015, n.54, pp. 17-28. ISSN 2413-3108. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sacq.v54i1.2.
Effective parenting programmes are central to successful violence prevention efforts. Although parenting programmes are available in South Africa, few are evidence-based. This lack of evaluation makes it impossible to know whether programmes are helpful or harmful and whether they use resources efficiently. This article outlines a process for gauging the extent to which parenting programmes incorporate evidence-based practices, which may then assist in identifying promising programmes. This involves the application of two interlinked instruments - an interview schedule and rating metric. It was applied to 21 group-based parenting programmes in South Africa that were identified via convenience and snowball sampling. Results indicated that the use of evidence-based practices was low, especially in terms of monitoring and evaluation. Findings highlight clear areas where programme strengthening is needed. A similar process could be used to identify other promising violence prevention interventions.