Universal parenting support to prevent abuse and neglect
A policy call for national governments
Evidence-based parenting programmes and interventions are a scalable and cost-effective way to support parents and caregivers and prevent abuse, neglect and adversity in childhood. They contribute to good mental health and well-being for children and their caregivers, and reduce risk-taking behaviours throughout the life course. Once initial start-up costs have been covered, the cost of delivering parenting interventions
per family is roughly comparable to the cost of a routine childhood vaccination programme.
Parenting is a wide and multi-faceted policy issue upon which many aspects of the social, emotional and physical development of children are dependent. This note by the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, UNICEF and the World Health Organization describes how a minimum package of well-evidenced parenting support can significantly prevent abuse and neglect of children. Furthermore, it recommends a universal approach or primary prevention through a basic package of interventions to every
parent or caregiver.