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Project Early background

Project Early background

Project Early is directly concerned with the well-being of young children and the place of the family and the school in providing for that well-being.

Project Early targets young children with challenging behaviours and behaviour disorders. These children demonstrate a range of severe anti-social behaviour which inhibits both social and academic learning (Patterson, 1982).

Much of the origins of this behaviour can be traced to a breakdown in the normal process of child socialisation in the early years of life. This breakdown can occur for several reasons including lack of parenting skills, lack of parental interest in their children, inappropriate beliefs about child rearing, mental instability of parents, parental substance abuse problems and so on (Church, 1997).

The family life of young behaviour disordered children tends to be characterised by lack of parental monitoring; a failure to notice and reward behaviour; a failure to set limits and confront the child when anti-social behaviour occurs and a failure to teach age-appropriate levels of compliance, social skills, patience, persistence and regard for others (Church 1997).

The consequences of failure to appropriately socialise young children are significant social and academic deficits and frequent family disruption. Project Early aims to break the cycle of family disorganisation and dysfunction and to improve the social and academic opportunities for the child by:

Improving appropriate social behaviour in young children who demonstrate severe behaviour disorders.

Achieving this through training and education of parents and teachers by improving management skills.

In all matters relating to the treatment of young persons and their families the focus and interest of the child is paramount.

At all times the safety and well-being of children is the key concern of Project Early through the implementation of policies and guidelines established for that purpose.

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