The Pathways to Prevention project: doing developmental prevention in a disadvantaged community
Contributor(s)University of New England
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AbstractThere is now a strong evidence base that problem behaviour by young children is one of the strongest predictors of both adolescent delinquency and later adult offending. The Pathways to Prevention project began in 2001 with the aim of involving family, school and community in a broad set of planned interventions to prevent anti-social behaviour among this group. The program targeted four to six year old children who were in transition to school focusing on enhancing their communication and social skills and empowering their families, schools and ethnic communities to provide supportive environments for positive development. The early results from this study are promising, particularly in that boys improved significantly in terms of being ready for school with reductions in difficult behaviour. Clearly longer term tracking of this group of children to see whether these effects continue into adolescence will be critical for scientifically evaluating the benefits of the intervention from a crime control perspective. In terms of service delivery the challenge, as the authors note, is seeing whether the core ideas of the demonstration project can be scaled up for wide spread delivery without losing the key guiding principles of the Pathways project.