Mr. Buttery was invited to be a witness at the Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee inquiry, which was chaired by Norman Lamb MP. The inquiry was seeking information about preventing and treating Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Other witnesses included Ailsa Swarbrick, Director of the Family Nurse Partnership; Jen Lexmond, Founder and CEO of the parenting app EasyPeasy UK; Professor Edward Melhuish, an academic in the study of child development and childcare; George Hosking, Chief Executive Officer of the WAVE Trust (which works to reduce the causes of child neglect and maltreatment); and Tom McBride, Director of Evidence, and Donna Molloy, Director of Dissemination, from the Early Intervention Foundation.
The Committee’s terms of reference describe ACEs as ranging from “psychological, physical, or sexual abuse to wider experiences of household dysfunction."
Mr. Buttery told the Committee that Triple P is one of the few programs to have demonstrated success in addressing ACEs at a community level. He also shared results from a population trial in the United States which showed Triple P had reduced rates of foster care placements, child maltreatment injuries and confirmed child abuse cases.
Asked about the evidence behind Triple P Online—an eight-module self-directed course—Mr. Buttery cited six clinical trials that have delivered effects comparable to results achieved by parents doing Group Triple P courses. These effects included positive changes in children’s behavior, improvements in parents’ confidence, as well as delivering promising results for reducing the symptoms of ADHD in children.
“We would argue that [the online] digital component is a key part of a population approach to parenting – the ability to take parenting [support] to scale, and, in a low-cost, effective way, to reach into parts of the community that face-to-face interventions do not always reach,” he said.
“Recently there was some interesting work in Australia, where we have seen an overrepresentation of single parents, those with the highest level of benefits and those who speak English as a second language, in the uptake of the online program, compared with state averages. That suggests that it may have even more ability than face-to-face interventions to reach into some of those hard-to-reach groups.”
Read more about the Science and Technology Committee Inquiry.
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