The Scallywags Service
Initiative Description: The service operates within 6 districts in Cornwall, UK. Children are referred by parents/guardians and a professional directly involved with the child (teacher, etc.). Inclusion criteria include 1) the child is between 3-7 years of age 2) the child’s geographic location is within the county of Cornwall 3) the child is attending educational provisional (school, preschool, nursery, etc.). Targets are formulated for the child by the psychologist and an individual program developed based on interviews with parents. A support worker is assigned to implement the program in the home and educational setting and a planning meeting, which takes place in the child’s educational setting, is arranged by a psychologist. The support worker spends 3 hours at home and 5 hours in school working with the child and family per week. Home visits are split into time spent with the parents alone to discuss how to cope with the child’s behavior, and time for shared activities with the child and family. At school, the support worker implements the core targets by working with the teacher and uses small groups and individual sessions. Progress is reported to the child’s family. A parent support group runs for 10 weeks for 2 hours per week to discuss the development of problem behaviors and various strategies and techniques for dealing with them. The Scallywag Holiday Club is provided in each district for participating children and their family which runs every weekday for 3 hours during school holidays. Follow up occurs at 1,3 and 6 months post-intervention where support workers visit parents to discuss their child’s progress and any problems encountered.
Study Results: There were significant decreases in child conduct problems after the 6-month intervention, with changes being maintained 6 months later.
Reference: Broadhead, M., Hockaday, A., Zahra, M., Francis, P., & Crichton, C. (2009). Scallywags – an evaluation of a service targeting conduct disorders at school and at home. Educational Psychology in Practice,25(2), 167-179. doi:10.1080/02667360902905270
Level of Evidence: Very Good