The contribution of group work programmes to early intervention and improving children's emotional well-being.

  • Parton C
  • Manby M
  • 1


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Recent government policy has emphasised links between the acquisition of social skills by children and young people and their educational attainment. This study aims to fill a gap in the literature about the contribution of school-based group work programmes to developing children's social skills. National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) Children's Services Practitioners ran four groups for a total of 38 Year Seven children from mixed ethnic backgrounds in two high schools in the North of England between 2004 and 2007, designed to improve children's self-esteem, social skills and behaviour. Parents were involved in identifying objectives and evaluating outcomes. The NSPCC's aim was to deliver programmes jointly with non-teaching staff and to train them to take responsibility for delivering future programmes. Pre-intervention and post-intervention Behaviour Rating Index for Children questionnaires identified small but significant improvements in teachers' and parents' assessments of children's behaviour. Qualitative data referred to improvements in children's self-esteem. However, evaluation data showed that the groups struggled to cope with children with very disruptive behaviour, for whom a wider range of interventions and continuing support were required. Key variables included the quality of liaison between the NSPCC and school staff and the provision of suitable venues. Challenges included harmonising education and social work perspectives and expectations, and avoiding disruption to school curricula. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Author-supplied keywords

  • Emotions (Psychology) in children
  • Group counseling
  • Human services
  • Intervention (Social services)
  • Social group work

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  • Christine1 Parton

  • Martin2 Manby

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