Research into Storybook Dads programmes

21 February 2012

The Methodist Mission in Dunedin has begun data collection as part of the research into its two Story Book Dads programmes at the Otago Corrections Facility.

Ako Aotearoa, New Zealand’s centre for tertiary teaching excellence, is funding the research – due for completion in September 2012.

The Story Book Dads programmehas been running at Otago Corrections Facility since 2007 in partnership with The Methodist Mission – Approach Community Learning. It’s provided literacy and parenting skills to more than 170 prisoners.

The programme runs for ten weeks and is offered three times a year. It results in a DVD of the father reading a book and this, along with a hard copy of the book, is delivered to the children in time for Easter, Father’s Day or Christmas.

In 2011, the Storybook Dads Kaupapa Māori  programme was introduced –the outcome of a three-way partnership that includes A3 Kaitiaki Ltd, a subsidiary company of Te Runanga o Otakou.

The research has two aims. These are:
•    to investigate what difference the Story Book Dads programme, delivered by the Dunedin Methodist Mission at the Otago Corrections Facility, makes to the literacy levels of the prisoners participating in the programme.
•    to investigate what difference the programme makes to family/whānau, and other connections and relationships.

The Methodist Mission will interview those prisoners at Otago Corrections Facility and other Corrections sites who participated in the programmes in 2011.

Others who have been directly involved in the programme will also be interviewed. This includes the primary caregiver of the child who received the DVD and book; the child they were sent to; family/whānau members of the prisoners; Corrections staff with prisoners from their unit who have participated in the programme; and those delivering the Storybook Dads and other literacy programmes.

The semi-structured, in-depth interviews will be audio-taped and transcribed. The questions are open-ended, allowing the participants freedom to talk about their experiences of the programme and what effect it has had on reconnection.

Quantitative data will be obtained from prisoners, family/whānau rating what, if any, change in relationships has occurred as a result of the programme.


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