The discovery of systemic barriers and lack of developmental pathways has always pointed towards the need for recognising specific factors that affect children in their early years (Farrington 2003). Research and evidence have shown that one of the strongest factors that point towards teenage delinquency and adult offending are problematic childhood behaviour. in 2001 the Pathway To Prevention programme was launched with the aim to prevent anti-social behaviour among kids aged 4 to 6. This was to be done with the help of family community and school that conducted planned intervention and paid particular attention to children who showed slight unusual mannerisms
Taking into consideration the various contexts of school, home and community- analysis of these domains to recognise their specific contribution to the interactions of the child helps the programme in conducting interventions. In certain cases, there are chances that the child comes from a disadvantaged home. The programme suggests prevention policies that help families with ideas for positive parenting and they help school with strategies for prevention crime and various other problems as the link between these factors and the attitude of children can be clearly discerned (Homel, R. et al 2006). Pathways to prevention is one of the most helpful and creative crime prevention programmes from Australia that has even shown helpful results overseas. It was base don the model of transition from home to school for these young children and it emphasised on their language, academic and social skills.
The operating goals of the programme has always been on universal non stigmatising programmes that will actually help children from urban disadvantaged areas. From the very beginning of the process it was decided that the language area would be emphasized upon immensely. It was led by the idea to help children improve their communication skills from the beginning as they believed the dysfunction in this factor is what caused problems in later life.
The most important effect of this rational would be on the transition process from home to school. The effect of socio economic and racial impurities has also been associated with impacting a child’s performance socially and academically. These act as irrefutable variants that affect the coercive interactions and future circumstances of these young children (Freiberg, K., Homel, R., & Lamb, C. 2013).
Pathways to programmes framework studies the various developmental issues that are associated with the many transitions of a child’s life. Their interventions are science based and supported by thorough evidence which emphasises on the need for strength-based orientation. This basically stands for the building of connections between key developmental context with the help of family and community to help the young child (Hil, R 2000).
These preventive interventions focus on the achievement of tangible measurable goals and encourages the children towards more idealistic and useful behaviour patterns. This implies that the work of the programme is invariably interlinked with various other aspects of family social work and community development. This is because the development of these factors is the only thing that is going to hep build on all the other aspects that will prevent a child from engaging is delinquent or problematic behaviours. The whole programme is facilitated by the notion of responsible and positive parent and appropriate community engagement. Through the use of adequate tools of languages and community interaction, the idea is to not make the child feel alienated and threatened by the process of transition that will occur.
The project includes two key elements - The Pre school intervention Programme and the Family Independence Programme. Both if these elements foster the community and the family’s abilities to support these young children in period of transition. By using risk factor analysis to understand the needs of the community and by empowering these individuals the programme is able to reach multicultural diverse groups and help them immensely. In turn this has a positive influence eon the family and the children.
The key notion that guides the entire programme is the belief that early childhood development is a key step in human development trajectories are the one that guide the behaviour of the young children throughout their lives. Hence the focus of prevention efforts should be in early years (Farrell, A., Tayler, C., & Tennent, L. 2002).Therefore identifying the key tensions in the developing years become of crucial importance, research shows how the propensity to commit crime is established before the age of five (Pratt et al 2000). Considering these research studies, situational approaches to prevention and emphasis on developmental research becomes truly important.
Pathways to prevention is an early intervention developmental prevention project that began its course somewhere in 1999 in Australia. The analysis of convergent themes of the programme allowed Pathways to understand the motivations that would lead the families and communities. As a resource for developmental crime prevention the pathways database provided unbelievable insights reflecting the patterns of involvement of families and communities with children (Homel R 2015).
The Pre-school intervention Programme was successful in enhancing the communication and social skills of these children that helped in development of positive attitude and building of interpersonal relationships. Similarly, the Family Independence Programme was available to all the families from 2011 to 2003.It focussed on the creation of a stimulating environment that is necessary and conducive for the positive development of a child (Homel R et al 1999).
In the control schools it has been observed that PIP programs produced one-fifth of a standard deviation improvement in language skills greater than the ‘normal’ improvement over the year. This is significant effect when we take into consideration between native English speakers and children for whom English is a second language.
One of the most significant success of the programme was the establishment of important committees like the Vietnamese Alliance Network and the Child Protection Network. These committees have produced some tangible outcomes for the community and created a huge impact. Working with culturally linguistically diverse communities has been extremely beneficial but the main drawback has been the lack of funding without which these communities have floundered in certain instances (Homel, R et al 2015).
Even though the longitudinal database of the programme provides extremely promising statistical information, the exigencies of the data collection in constantly unpredictable environment of diverse families and communities points towards the creation of a more solidified policy framework for the programme (Homel, R et al 2015). The Developmental Crime Prevention consortium 1999 discovered the presence of such creative initiatives for crime prevention but it also discovered the shortage of staff skilled in research and lack of funding.
For more diversified research that takes into consideration the multi-layered and different backgrounds of families and communities investment have to made in development of a more scientific body of knowledge. This has to be doesn’t so that the prevention programmes can be implemented more systematically, especially in the indigenous areas of Australia. Disadvantaged communities that have the most amount of needs to be met need to be paid special attention for the programme to meet its actual potential (Freiberg, K., Homel, R., & Lamb, C. 2013).
In major ethnic communities an ecological approach that incorporates programmes and policies for the parents, family and community while reducing the range of risk factors has to be implemented. The establishment of guidelines for principles that makes the programme more accessible and effective is the need of the hour. Developmental perspectives and their malleability to change that have ways of specifying risk factors have to be developed among the staff and programme managers so that it helps them analyse outcomes, primarily by way of cumulative effects and diverse pathways (Hil, R. 2000).
In conclusion we can see the need for improvement in the methodological process of collecting the data and the significant influx of community specific policies will give us more understanding about the developmental approach that needs to be taken. Instead of using mere experimental techniques, it give sus an insight into characteristic intervention and integrated community based approach. The use of the evaluation methods responds adequately to the range of complex and comprehensive initiatives that used in crime prevention and community safety. The implementation of these policies will be able to reach its actual potential only when they are inclusive of all the diverse communities and families of an area.
Farrell, A., Tayler, C., & Tennent, L. (2002). Early childhood services: What can children tell us?. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 27(3), 13-17.
Farrington, D. P., & Welsh, B. C. (2003). Family-based prevention of offending: A meta-analysis. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 36(2), 127-151.
Homel, R., Freiberg, K., Lamb, C., Leech, M., Carr, A., Hampshire, A., ... & Batchelor, S. (2006). The pathways to prevention project: The first five years, 1999–2004. Sydney, Griffith University and Mission Australia, available online at www. griffith. edu. au/centre/kceljag/(via Pathways link).
Pratt, T. C., & Cullen, F. T. (2000). The empirical status of Gottfredson and Hirschi's general theory of crime: A meta‐analysis. Criminology, 38(3), 931-964.
Freiberg, K., Homel, R., & Lamb, C. (2013). The pervasive impact of poverty on children: Tackling family adversity and promoting child development through the pathways to prevention project. Pathways and Crime Prevention, 226.
Hil, R. (2000). Governing through risk: Young people, crime and the ‘Pathways to Prevention’report. Children Australia, 25(3), 29-32.
Thompson, J., & Carroll, M. (2003). Program Initiatives within Juvenile Justice Victoria. In Juvenile Justice Victoria, Conference Paper, Sydney,“Juvenile Justice: From Lessons of the Past to a Road Map for the Future Conference” Convened by the Australian Institute of Criminology
Force, N. S. W. P. (2006). Community safety precinct committee guidelines—community resource. NSW Police Force, Sydney.
Homel, R., Freiberg, K., Branch, S., & Le, H. (2015). Preventing the onset of youth offending: The impact of the Pathways to Prevention Project on child behaviour and wellbeing. Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, (481), 1.
Homel, R., Cashmore, J., Gilmore, L., Goodnow, J., Hayes, A., Lawrence, J., ... & Western, J. S. (1999). Pathways to Prevention: Development and early intervention approaches to crime in Australia.
Vimpani, G., Patton, G., & Hayes, A. (2002). The Relevance of Child and Adolescent Development for Outcomes in Education Health and Life Success: What do we know in Australia and Elsewhere. Implications for a National Research Partnership for Early Human Development, Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
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