Community Mobilisation to Support Positive Parenting: Insights and Lessons

Programmes that support parents and equip them to parent non-violently are key to the longterm prevention of interpersonal violence. This policy brief shares lessons from a project in a rural township in South Africa’s Western Cape province. The project delivered evidence-based positive parenting programmes in combination with a social activation process to support parenting through community leadership.This demonstration project shows that community engagement, participation and leadership, along with parenting programmes and community-based activities that allow parents and children to interact, can help to change parenting across a community. Ways of communicating about positive parenting values emerged organically through the Action Media research process. These provided a foundation for conducting and legitimating activities that supported positive parenting as well as contributing to family, parent and child wellbeing. This helped to create an understanding that residents themselves can enact change processes. The parenting programmes provided resources and skills to support positive parenting at household level, while the community-led activities helped to improve parent–child sharing and bonding by bringing families, parents and children together in novel ways.