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02 March 2018


One of the world’s leading and most innovative crime prevention experts has called for parenting support to be part of a strategy to halve rates of violent crime.

Speaking at the Helping Families Change Conference in California, PROFESSOR IRVIN WALLER, author of Less Law, More Order: The Truth about Reducing Crime, said legislators needed to make “parenting and upstream prevention a public policy priority” with a target of reducing violent crime in the United States by 50 percent by 2030.


"[We] need to stop misspending on reaction and invest upstream on things that make a difference, and they're nearly all person-centered solutions," said Prof. Waller.


Prof. Waller, who is also Vice-President of the International Organization for Victim Assistance, presented data that showed the success of a range of early-intervention programs in reducing violence.


He suggested the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program should be part of any early-intervention crime-reduction strategy.


The 19th Helping Families Change Conference has brought together more than 280 researchers, policymakers, thought leaders and professionals working in the parenting and family support space.

Delegates have come from 15 countries including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, South Africa, Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Chile, Mexico and the United States.


Other speakers include U.S. early-childhood mental health expert DR BARBARA STROUD, who told how children of color were being traumatized by everyday negative images. “I want to walk in a world where we react to difference with wonderment not fear,” she said.


Triple P founder, PROFESSOR MATT SANDERS opened the conference on Wednesday, sharing details of a yet-to-be-released anti-bullying variant of Triple P, while SINE MØLLER and SIGNE DANØ ANDERSEN from Denmark’s National Board of Social Services reported on a pilot program of Stepping Stones Triple P (for parents of children with a disability) in five municipalities.


Conference organizer ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR KAREN TURNER, from the Parenting and Family Support Centre, University of Queensland, said all of the speakers and delegates were committed to making families and communities safer, stronger and more resilient.


“We are hearing so many fresh ideas about translating research into real world practice, in such diverse cultures around the globe. It’s a privilege to gather such an inspiring group together to share their insights and successes,” she said.


Conference presentations will be posted later this month at