The discovery of this study can be important in care centers for the elderly, as the PPI has the potential to provide an appropriate intergenerational program that benefits all participants and improves the dignity of the elderly and people with dementia. The strategies used by facilitators to generate parental support were based on real parent-facilitator relationships and other participants. Facilitators recognized that parents had tacit parental knowledge “which demonstrated their willingness to work alongside parents to create an environment that maximized their strength and abilities” (Jackson, 2011, p. 35). In these cases, support was found co-built between parents and facilitators rather than provided in a formal setting by experts .
Research on families living in very disadvantaged areas who frequent sustained play groups differs from those who attend major services. Families in supported play groups encountered more difficulty accessing, understanding and applying information on children’s health, and children showed more about health practices (Myers et al. 2015). These results indicate that families with the greatest need for information may not access it (Myers et al., 2015), and that compatible playgroups can be a potential platform for transmitting key messages that promote results for children’s health. However, these limited results from evaluation studies suggest that sustained and intensive play groups generate positive benefits for children. Parents reported a positive change in the social skills of their children in various studies (ARTD Consultants, 2008a; ARTD Consultants, 2008b; DEECD, 2012; AIFS, 2011), evident, for example, in their increased ability to get along with other children and learn to share .
These support strategies reflect a “download” process in which the student is considered active in his own learning and is supported by the facilitator in “self-regulation” of his own learning. This is evident in the play groups supported when parents suggest themes or professionals invited to visit the game group. The IPP provided a significant programming opportunity playgroup for all participants, especially those with dementia, who often challenge family and professional caregivers . The links that the participants established in the intergenerational game group were valued and provided residents with something to do in the care center for the elderly and experiences that were important for individual self-esteem and ability.
Families from culturally diverse backgrounds may be reluctant to attend a conventional community play group because of concerns about their limited English competence, or because they believe they will not be welcome there (McDonald et al .2014). Sustained play groups specifically targeting CALD groups provide a culturally safe environment in which to develop social support, social and physical development of children and links to other services (Warr et al., 2013) that the parents of CALD and refugees would not have otherwise. Although the database published for the supported play groups is limited, some research and evaluation studies have evaluated the results of the supported play groups according to their objectives, in particular the benefits for parents and children. This section summarizes these findings and should be interpreted with caution due to the limited number of assessments available. Some models of sustained play groups aim to move families to community play groups within a specified time, usually over a period of nine to 12 months (McLean et al., 2014; Oke, Stanley and Theobald, 2007), while others are underway, depending on the model and funding. Community play groups are universal services initiated and self-managed by parents and / or guardians who serve them (FaHCSIA, 2011; ARTD Consultants, 2008a) with the help of state or territorial organizations of play groups.
Of the 12 revised program evaluations for this document, more than half used a mixed-method approach, using qualitative and quantitative research methods; five evaluations used only qualitative methods. Five evaluations used observation techniques to assess the play groups supported; of these five, in three cases, the number of families was observed (of these three cases, we visited a game group every week for a period of 10 weeks; one visited eight caravan parking sites; and another visited 12 sites). Observation interviews, parents and facilitators, surveys and discussion groups with adults were the methods used to assess results for children. Families in these groups are often vulnerable, faced with stressful living conditions as well as weak social support and economic pressures. Supported play groups offer an option to families who may not be able to interact, feel included and benefit from parent-led community play groups (Berthelsen et al. 2012; Warr et al. 2013; Mulcahy et al. 2010). This document defines the types of play groups supported and the different implementation models in force in Australia, and assesses the evidence of the evaluation of their benefits for parents and children.