frequency of attendance, more family planning and immunization
contacts and decrease in hospitalizations.
(d) Maternal behaviour and use of
social support: There was better maternal-infant interaction
at 4 months and less authoritarian attitudes towards child
rearing at twelve months of age. Visited mothers also had
improved diet, indulged less in smoking and they talked more
frequently about difficulties to their social networks, had
labour room companions and felt that fathers paid greater
interest in their pregnancies. More mothers with greater risk
in study group returned to school, had less pregnancies subsequently,
increased spacing and increased length of maternal employment.
The programme mothers provided better home environment for
their infant's development, had more knowledge about babies,
greater satisfaction with mothering and were more responsive
to their babies.
(e) Child abuse and neglect: There
was not much change in the study group but control group had
higher incidence of dysfunction.
In a study from India (Gupta et at, 1984), the impact of
ICDS programme was studied by assessing changes in feeding
practices, growth and development, prevalence of malnutrition
and utilisation of health services. A non ICDS area was used
as a control.
In the study area, majority of children were weaned earlier
(6-12 months) as compared to majority of controls (weaned
later 12-18 months). Weight for age was higher and prevalence
of severe PEM (Protein Energy Malnutrition) was significantly
lower in study area. Milestones of development were comparatively
delayed in the control group and immunization status of children
was much lower than study group.
Mothers of the majority of children in the ICDS group availed
antenatal care services and also utilised trained dai or ANM.
Health care services were better utilised in the study group.
Another form of home care programe carried out in the U.K.
with great success has been the voluntary befriending scheme.
.In this, volunteers become companions to young mothers in
order to improve their child rearing skills and well being.
Evidence from this programme points to the advantages of a
family support model for intervention. There is special emphasis
on the 'hard to reach' or high risk families. The befriender
provides family counselling and support both in relation to
child rearing and other family problems. The scheme has advantages
not only with regard to acceptance and availability but
also in the quality of