Lessons and impacts of a phone-based parenting program for Syrian and Jordanian families with young children
In this brief, Global TIES researchers evaluate a phone-delivered version of a parenting program in the Middle East and the first randomized-controlled evaluation of an audio-only parenting program. Though extremely relevant for humanitarian and crisis situations, when in-person programs are difficult, very little is known about the impacts of audio-only remote caregiver programs. When the International Rescue Committee (IRC) adapted an in-person home-visiting parenting program in 2020 to be delivered remotely, via audio-only phone calls, it created a unique opportunity to evaluate an audio-only remote caregiver program. The original in-person program, Reach Up and Learn (RUL), had been delivered by the IRC from 2016 to early 2020 in parts of Jordan, targeting both Jordanian and Syrian caregivers. The remote adaptation was made in response to the pandemic and as part of the Ahlan Simsim initiative, in partnership with Sesame Workshop.
While researchers found no significant impact on parenting behaviors, pointing to the limitations of a short, once-weekly, audio-only interaction, they did find the program reduced caregiver depressive symptoms. Facilitators delivering the program were trained in responsive listening and non-judgmental rapport and used these skills during well-being check-ins with caregivers. These are believed to be key drivers of the finding on improved caregiver mental health caregivers, offering a window into new ways to support their mental health.

Related links:
Other studies in the series
International Rescue Committee overview of the initiatives and findings
'Reach up and learn' in the Syria response: Adapting and implementing an evidence-based home visiting program in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria

Organization: Global TIES for Children
Year: 2023
Language: English
Web link: https://figshare.com/articles/preprint/Lessons_and_Impacts_of_a_Phone-Based_Parenting_Program_for_Syrian_and_Jordanian_Families_with_Young_Children/22700314/1