Barcelona 2013
Barcelona 2013
Abstract book - Abstract - 339
Go Back

Conference Details
International Committee
Plenary Speakers
Presenting Speakers
Scientific Committee
Abstract #339  -  Mental Health
  39.5: Mental Health (Parallel) on Tuesday @ 16.30-18.30 in Teatre Chaired by Sue Gibbons,
Jordi Blanch

  Presenting Author:   Professor Tonya Thurman - Tulane University/Tulane International South Africa, South Africa
  Additional Authors:  Lic Juan Sotelo, Lic Daniel Palacio, Lic Fernando  D`Elio, Lic Luciana Betti, Dr Silvana Weller, Lic Julia Recchi, Dr Carlos Falistocco,  
Home visiting programs are a common strategy for serving orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), however, enormous variation exists in implementation. Some programs rely on lay volunteers; others offer paraprofessional training and compensation. This study examined the impact of both approaches and hypothesized that children enrolled in programs implemented by paraprofessionals would show greater improvement.
Method / Issue:
Data were drawn from a longitudinal evaluation of OVC home visiting programs in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Baseline surveys were conducted in 2010 among newly-enrolled beneficiaries age 10-17 and their caregivers; follow-up data were collected two years later. Analyses include the 1472 children and 918 caregivers with data at both rounds. Basic statistical tests explored whether the quality of home visiting services varied by programmatic approach. Multi-level regression models tested for the effects of program model on children?s wellbeing, controlling for relevant covariates.
Results / Comments:
Engagement varied substantially: 75% of caregivers enrolled in programs with paraprofessionals reported ever receiving a home visit compared to 34% of those in volunteer-driven models. Frequency and duration of visits was also greater among the former. The paraprofessional model was associated with greater access to social grants and material resources. Neither model measurably affected child depression, HIV and AIDS knowledge, or food security. Moreover, child maltreatment and behavioural problems were more common at follow-up across the programs.
Programming models that engage trained, compensated paraprofessionals in home visiting have clear strengths over volunteer-reliant approaches. Evidence suggests that paraprofessionals can help families to access social grants and material resources, but even these models fall short in their ability to address the full spectrum of children?s needs. Effectively addressing the complex issues facing OVC may require a paradigm shift from general home visiting programs to focused interventions.
Go Back

  Disclaimer   |   T's & C's   |   Copyright Notice