Impact of Community Interventions on Children

Community interventions include various programs where experts engage with youth and their families in their natural surroundings. Individual and family therapy, respite care, crisis intervention, psychiatric hospital diversion, case management and advocacy, community outreach and service integration, and parent education and training are typically provided in these settings. In 1986, the Child and Adolescent Service System Programme (CASSP) initiative significantly pushed this approach to treatment provisions for kids and families.

Interventions by Community for Children

Community-based systems of care for children, adolescents, and families were established to provide individualized services that are child-centered, family-focused, community-based, least restrictive, and culturally competent. This new service delivery model requires systems to be flexible and comprehensive enough to fit the requirements of each child and family so that if therapy is ineffective, services need to be changed rather than removed.

As a result, communities have established networks of coordinated local systems of care that wrap resources around adolescents and families to keep youth in the community. They are sometimes referred to as "wraparound" services because they cover a variety of systems that support adolescents and families through the mental health, juvenile justice, educational, and child welfare systems. These interventions are increasingly used with "at-risk" children as young as preschool age and assisting kids with SED.

Description of Treatment

Much of the therapy has been diverse due to the individualized nature of these services and the heterogeneity in community resources. Services are frequently offered for specific periods (1-6 months). However, others are long-term. Most community interventions are extensive (up to 20 hours a week of direct face-to-face contact) and are frequently available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Community interventions typically involve moving services out of traditional treatment settings and into the home or other natural community settings to provide support in the least restrictive environment, build parent-professional partnerships, improve interagency collaboration, and deliver strength-based, culturally competent services. Individualized wraparound services necessitate flexibility in service supply and finance. Wraparound services, home-based services, and family preservation programs are standard models.

Community treatment goals include keeping adolescents at home (e.g., fewer mental hospitalizations, incarcerations, and foster care placements), reducing problem behaviors, abuse and neglect, and reducing psychiatric symptomatology. Increases in prosocial behaviors, educational success, and safety are other outcomes.

Social Skills Training

Teaching social skills as interpersonal reactions that allow the kid to adapt to the environment through verbal and nonverbal interaction is characterized as social skills training. Given the multiple opportunities to engage with peers in a natural context, such as class, cafeteria, corridor, and sports time, the school setting is an ideal area to teach social skills training. Schools, where children and adults engage for more than six hours daily, provide numerous contexts for kids to socialize and practice social skills. Lack of social skills can be caused by various factors, including a lack of information, practice, signals, reinforcement, and competing issue behavior. Furthermore, there are many forms of social skills deficits −

  • Acquisition Deficit − A youngster does not know the skill or has had adequate practice.

  • Performance Deficit − A pupil can perform but very seldom employs the talent.

  • Challenging Problem Behaviour − A problem behavior that interferes with the student's learned competence.

According to Bellini and Peters (2008), most social skills training programs and interventions encourage skill attainment, improve current abilities, and generalize skills across situations and individuals. Social skills training methods include traditional cognitive-behavioral and social skills with an extra parent component. Furthermore, specific social skills training group programs that run 8-13 weeks give practice and teaching. The following are the critical elements of social skills teaching as an intervention −

  • Social skills are learned behaviors

  • Specific verbal and nonverbal behaviors

  • Social skills require both initiations and responses

  • They are highly contextual and depend on the context

  • Social skills deficits can be identified and treated

The Social Skills Intervention Group is implemented utilizing a strategy in which students are categorized based on their needs and deficiencies. Then, during group sessions, teachers and experts gather lessons in areas of need to introduce and practice each skill. Finally, teachers monitor progress and intervene based on the student's skill.

Social Skills Intervention Groups include the following components −

  • A smaller number of students with greater adult attention

  • Situational learning,

  • Positive peer models,

  • Systematic, explicit instruction,

  • School-to-home communication,

  • Self-assessment and recording component, and

  • Modeling, role-playing, problem-solving, feedback.

Psychological Interventions for Poverty Alleviation

Psychologists have shown a strong interest in creating psychological therapies for poverty elimination. Researchers set the ground for other investigations in this field. Most of the early literature in this field focused on impoverished individuals and attempted to identify social and cognitive deficiencies linked with and accountable for their poverty.

Thus, the proposed psychological therapies attempted to develop and equip people from disadvantaged and poor backgrounds with the skills and competence required for effective societal functioning. According to D. Sinha (1990), the negative impacts of poverty are exacerbated by the child's unfavorable proximal environment. As a result, intervention should address the cognitive-attentional issues and the circumstances in the family and school environments.

Dalal (1991) presented an educational resourcefulness model to capitalize on learning opportunities. It emphasized intervention at three levels: self-efficacy, personal control, and planning. Dalal proposed systematic treatments in educational settings that manipulate success and failure to instil a feeling of self-efficacy throughout early learning. According to Misra, interventions should instil in individuals a sense of empowerment to influence change in their surroundings. Researchers should discover the affordances in cognitive enrichment intervention programs at the individual and societal levels that cause and sustain poverty.


Community interventions are designed to provide individualized services that are child-centered, family-focused, community-based, least restrictive, and culturally competent. They are often used with "at-risk" children as young as preschool age and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Social skills training is an intervention that encourages skill attainment, improves current abilities, and generalizes skills across situations and individuals.

It involves categorizing students based on their needs and deficiencies, introducing and practicing each skill, and intervening based on the student's skill. Social Skills Intervention Groups involve situated learning, positive peer models, systematic instruction, modeling, role-playing, problem-solving, feedback, and self-assessment. Community interventions have successfully reduced problem behaviors, reduced abuse-related behaviors, and improved internalizing and externalizing disorders.

Updated on: 10-May-2023


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