Jade Speaks Up : summary interim report of research 2017
Bridgman, Geoffrey; Dyer, Elaine; O'Hagan, A.
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Citation:Bridgman, G., Dyer, E., & O'Hagan, A. (2018). Jade speaks up: Summary interim report of research 2017. (5). Auckland: Violence Free Communities.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4336
The goal of our evaluation of the Jade Speaks Up programme was to demonstrate that a relatively small and short-term intervention giving year 5-8 school children the tools to develop trusting relationships and the strategies to keep themselves safe from violence, could result in children feeling safer and more resilient and teachers finding the programme most effective in the areas of relationship learning. This project is funded by the Accident Compensation Corporation, because they are looking for ways to reduce the cost of injuries due to violence in our communities. With 1300 children from 47 classrooms in eight schools (seven in Auckland and one in the Bay of Plenty) involved in this research, we were able to show, at the outset of the research, using two measures of childhood wellbeing and depression (Child Outcomes Rating Scale1 and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies of Depression Scale for Children) 2, that 46% of children were in the category of “at risk” of psychological distress. The percent of children (0-14) with a diagnosed mental illness has trebled to 7% from 2007 to 2017 (Ministry of Health, 2017)3 and underlying this change is the increasing uncertainty in children’s lives driven by poverty, poor housing, homelessness and school pressure (Woulfe, 2018) 4 . These issues, added to children’s stories of parental emotional instability, unsafe family arrangements, addictions and harsh punishment impact on classrooms, which potentially make them unsafe environments for some children. The Jade Speaks Up programme uses the classroom as the base for creating in children a sense of safety that can extend into their wider environments. The first year of this enquiry has shown overall that the programme has been successful in achieving its stated goals. However, a more detailed analysis has shown many areas for improvement such as allowing more time for the programme to run and a greater focus on teacher support, meeting the specific needs of each classroom and keeping the learnings from the programme alive after it has finished. How best to engage parents is also a key question in this second phase of the pilot study. What follows is an interim snapshot of our key findings.