Storybook Dads evaluation
As part of the programme, a DVD was created of the prisoner reading a book to their child, they also wrote a card and workbook that was sent to their child. The programme also included activities to enhance and develop the men's parenting skills. Initial research has measured literacy at the beginning and end of each programme. To date over 90% of those who have completed the programme have made literacy gains of at least one level.
This project extended this initial research by examining further the prisoners’ literacy skills, and also examining whether the programme enhanced and strengthened family or whānau relationships while the men are in prison. A mixed method approach was used to assess the impact of the Storybook Dads programme.
Data collected for this report comes from interviews conducted with 19 prisoners. Results show that the Storybook Dads programme can produce gains in participant’s literacy development in a very short time and the programme positively affects relationships. In addition, children are motivated to learn and the men involved think more positively about themselves and their roles as fathers.
All prisoners expressed value in Storybook Dads and more than half (53%, n=10) reported that their participation in Storybook Dads had fostered their child’s literacy development. Six (60%) primary caregivers and family/whānau members also thought that a father’s participation in Storybook Dads had improved his child’s literacy.
More than half (58%, n=11) the prisoners reported that their relationships were better or much better with their child, and other family/whānau members (63%, n=12) as a consequence of their participation in Storybook Dads. When asked about the relationship with their child’s mother, most (63%, n=12) said there was no change or they didn’t know; however, 37% (n=7) said their participation had made the relationship better or much better. Six (60%) primary caregivers and family/whānau also reported that the father’s participation in Storybook Dads had improved his relationship with his child. However, less than half (40%, n=4) of that group reported that it had a positive impact on their own relationship with the father. Corrections and Methodist Mission staff commented on how participation in Storybook Dads had a positive impact on prisoners’ self-esteem, behaviour in prison, and relationships with other people.
Storybook Dads participants showed an average increase in literacy development of 0.59 steps when measured against the Read with Understanding strand of the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission’s (2008) Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy Handbook. Participants in both the Storybook Dads and the Corrections Literacy programmes gained slightly more literacy steps, with an average of 0.63, this was not significant.
|Read an Ako Aotearoa Good Practice Publication about Storybook Dads|
- Charles Pearce (project co-leader), The Methodist Mission
- Jan Bain, The Methodist Mission
- Dr Mike Brown, The Methodist Mission
- John Crawford-Smith (project co-leader), The Methodist Mission
- Hine Forsyth, A3 Kaitiaki Ltd
- Reverend Donald Phillipps, The Methodist Mission
- Bronwyn Powell-Grubb, The Methodist Mission
- Dr Linda Robertson, Otago Polytechnic
- Elaine Mason,The Methodist Mission
- Moana Wesley, The Methodist Mission
- David Woodward, The Methodist Mission
$ 96,600 (excl. GST)
Project commenced: late 2010
Expected completion date: mid 2012
Presentation given at the 2011 Ako Aotearoa Research in Progress Colloquium
Media Coverage of Storybook Dads
- Storybook Dads programme proving to have positive results for prisoners and their families. Dunedin TV. Interview with John-Crawrford-Smith. 26 April 2016
- Storybook Dads teaches literacy and parenting skills - Arts Access Aotearoa, 11 June 2010
- Father's Day behind bars - Otago Daily Times, 4 September 2010
- Storybook Dads - Nine to Noon, Radio New Zealand National, 7 July 2010
- Partnership drives Kaupapa Māori Storybook Dads - Arts Access Aotearoa, 10 March 2011