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The fidelity with which the programme is implemented is crucial. Most evidence-based parenting programmes have a set of ‘key ingredients’, which are essential for ensuring that they remain effective. Research repeatedly suggests that parenting programmes are only effective when practitioners work in a way which ensures that these key ingredients are not lost.
Fidelity is a notion that, at its most abstract level, implies a truthful connection to a source or sources, therefore denoting how accurate a copy is to its source. Fidelity is important in both individual and group approaches, because without fidelity, the good outcomes achieved in the literature, cannot be achieved. Delivering an intervention with a high level of treatment fidelity not only preserves the behaviour change mechanisms of the intervention, but can also predict parental behaviour change, which itself predicts child behaviour change as a result of treatment. (Eames et al 2009)
It is possible for a practitioner to adapt a programme or approach but still maintain the fidelity of the programme… but the practitioner would need to understand the theory of change which the programme uses, and know which of the “active ingredients” should not be left out.
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