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11 April 2017

Australian report highlights Triple P's cost-effectiveness as evidence for public-health approach to family services

A report by Australia’s Deakin University researchers uses the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program’s cost-effectiveness to highlight the value of a public-health approach to family-based prevention and early intervention services.


Citing an Access Economics report which found that investment in the Triple P system would lead to an AUS $13.83 return for every dollar spent, the report argues that better co-ordination of family-based services would have an impact on eight major Australian health and social policy priority areas.


The report, Strengthening prevention and early intervention services for families into the future, was commissioned by Family & Relationship Services Australia and authored by Deakin University’s Professor John Toumbourou and colleagues.


Triple P founder Professor Matt Sanders welcomed the report’s identification of the need for a public health approach in the delivery of family services.


“While the value of Triple P’s public health approach is increasingly being recognized, with the program now available in 28 countries, in Australia access to the program remains limited,’’ Professor Sanders said.


“A coordinated strategy to increase family-based prevention and early intervention services should be considered essential to ensure the health and wellbeing of every Australian family.’’


In the Australian state of Queensland, the Queensland Government has responded to its Carmody Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection by using Triple P’s public-health approach as an early intervention and prevention strategy.


All families of children aged up to 16 can access Triple P across the state, with more than 50,000 families taking advantage of the offer to date across a range of Triple P programs. Almost 20,000 have chosen to access the program online.


Professor Sanders continued: “We call on governments around Australia to recognise the need, benefit and value of Triple P’s population-health approach in their upcoming budgets to head off problems down the track.”


The value of this public-health approach has also been recognised by the Federal Government’s National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020 in the Third Action Plan.