Building an evidence base is not a sprint, it’s a marathon

Building an evidence base to support a public health approach to parenting support is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the University of Queensland’s Parenting and Family Support Centre, Professor Matt Sanders, told this year’s HFCC.

That marathon has been gathering momentum and pace over the past decade as more and more researchers around the world look at ways to improve the lives of children and families through interventions such as Triple P.

“The Triple P evidence base is a hugely expanding knowledge base which continues to grow,’’ Professor Sanders said in his keynote address at Beurs Van Berlage in Amsterdam.

Matt Sanders

Professor Matthew Sanders

“Since 2006, there has been a 680 per cent increase on the number of publications per year. At last count, a total of 776 researchers had contributed to 588 papers on Triple P from 244 research institutions. This includes 388 theoretical or conceptual papers, 206 evaluation papers and 104 RCTs.’’

There have been 38 service-based evaluations of Triple P and, across all categories, the number of and percentage of papers with a null finding has been 11 (five per cent).

Of those null findings, 64 per cent involved developers of the program. And of the positive findings, 45 per involved researchers independent of the development of the program.

“But are there yet? No, we are not,’’ Professor Sanders said. “There are many things we still have to do to improve our body of knowledge, such as how we can reach more families who are likely to benefit.

“Having universal services is no guarantee that families who require interventions will participate.
We must never stop the search to improve the quality of interventions that are required and that includes being prepared to reconsider the core principles of the program.’’

Read more at the Triple P Research Blog here.

Changing the system: Bryan Samuels at HFCC 2015

A former director of Child Services for the state of Illinois in the US says that simply removing a child from harm’s way shouldn’t necessarily mean “case closed”.

In his presentation to the Helping Families Change Conference in Amsterdam in February, 2015, keynote speaker Bryan Samuels said simply moving a child out of immediate danger did reverse or eliminate the effects of toxic stress on children exposed to maltreatment.

He said children retained learned links and thoughts from adverse experiences and these memories could elicit an ongoing sense of fear. Mr Samuels’ presentation at HFCC 2015 is summarised in the latest post of the Triple P Research blog here.

HFCC 2016 Announcement

Save the date!

The 18th Annual Helping Families Change Conference will be held in the beautiful town of Banff, Alberta, Canada on 3 – 5 February 2016.

We look forward to seeing you in Banff – one of the most precious, protected places in the world. A visit here offers the chance to experience the spectacular Canadian Rocky Mountains and glacier-fed lakes, wildlife at its wildest and small-town charm that only Banff can offer.

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Thank you to those who attended this year’s Helping Families Change Conference.  We hope you found it a useful and rewarding experience.

We encourage you to take a couple of minutes to complete the below feedback form.  Your comments will help us improve our future conferences and ensure they are relevant and enjoyable.

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Amsterdam is looking beautiful and the delegates are starting to arrive as  this year’s Helping Families Change Conference gears up for Wednesday’s opening speakers. Leading the program will be the keynote opening address by Prof Matt Sanders, founder of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program and director of the Parenting and Family Support Centre at the University of Queensland.

Whether you have been able to get to this year’s conference or simply want to keep up to date with the latest news from this year’s Helping Families Change Conference in Amsterdam, follow us on Twitter, here.

You can also stay up to date with the latest news in Triple P research at the Triple P Research blog here.