Parenting within the Public Health System in Thailand Updates

Implementation research to examine and support the scale-up of Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH) within the public health system in Thailand with an emphasis on adaptation of PLH digital, male engagement, cost-benefit analysis, and social return on investment. Both PLH In-Person and the PLH-Digital programme package will be used with a target group of parents and caregivers of young children. The training of over 100 parent group facilitators, a number of coaches (to support the  facilitators) and some trainers (to ensure that there is training capacity for the programme in Thailand) is also a core component of this project.


During March and April, the Parenting within the Public Health System team completed several activities in preparation for the randomised controlled cluster trial of a ParentChat programme adapted for Udon Thani. From 5-8 March, Dr Berncie Mamauag (Research Director, PLH Philippines) and Jennel Reyes (Programme Director, PLH Philippines) conducted training with 19 Programme Facilitators. From 11-13 March and 3 April, 12 data collectors also took part in training led by Wilaiwan Pongpaew (ParentChat Research Manager) and Dr Amalee McCoy (Study Co- Principal Investigator). Wilaiwan is currently engaged in field testing and a final review of the study protocol. Pending approval from Chulalongkorn University, the protocol will be registered on the Open Science Framework. A report for the Social Return on Investment of PLH young children (PLH-YC) in Thailand study has been finalised and the team are reviewing options for dissemination of findings alongside project partner Sal Forest consultancy firm. A draft report is also under review with project partner Chula Unisearch for the Cost Benefit Analysis study. Once finalised the Peace Culture Foundation hopes to disseminate findings to the Thai Positive Parenting Community of Practice and via additional presentations and policy briefs. Finally, a poster presentation focused on the Male Engagement study has been accepted for the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) Conference (18-21 August 2024, Uppsala).

In terms of capacity building progress, the Beurng Karn Provincial Public Health Office, led by the provincial director, included PLH-YC in an exhibition at City Hall from 22-26 March. Delivering PLH-YC is one of the key performance indicators to promote parenting for child development in the province, highlighting the growing strength of embedding PLH programming within the Thai health system. Bi-weekly coordination meetings and collaboration regarding the ChildShield Database with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and UNICEF are also ongoing. A target of 1,278 parents is to be included by the end of July in the database. Monitoring and evaluation forms for ChildShield are also being developed and will be shared with the MoPH to incorporate into the ChildShield system.

Concerning the Positive Parenting Promotion Centre under the Department of Mental Health, the Peace Culture Foundation has been included in a proposal sent to WHO Thailand to support continued scaling of programme implementation. The team expects to receive further information regarding proposal content within the next two months. Finally, the team said goodbye to Programme Coordinator Chalermkwan (Amm) Chutima in early March and also welcomed Supranee Wangfeungkanagul as a consultant in mid April. Supranee’s role will focus on a review of PCF’s standard operating procedures and supporting a management response to the team’s recent 2023 audit.

Preparation for implementation of the ParentChat study is progressing well. A revised study protocol was resubmitted to Chulalongkorn University on 13 February. Facilitator training led by Dr Berncie Mamauag (Research Director) and Jennel Reyes (Co-Principal Investigator) from the Parenting within the Social Welfare System team is due to take place, 5 - 8 March. In addition, data collector training, led by Wilaiwan Pongpaew (ParentChat Research Manager) and Dr Amalee McCoy (Co-Principal Investigator), is scheduled for 11 - 13 March and survey content for the study has also been finalised. Following the completion of data collection and analysis for the Social Return on Investment of PLH-YC in Thailand study, a draft report is currently under review with project partners Chula Unisearch and Sal Forest consultancy firm.

With regards to the PLH training, supervision, and monitoring hub at Boromarajonani Nursing College (BCNU), PLH-YC Facilitator Training for Beurng Karn province health workers took place between 14 - 17 February, with a total of 24 participants and a BCNU lecturer as one of the co-trainers. The final session of the PLH-Facilitator Assessor Training will take place on 1 March with 6 BCNU lecturers as participants. The 8th webinar for the Thai Positive Parenting Community of Practice was held on the 27 February and a 5th issue of the CoP Newsletter was released on 28 February. With regards to advocacy and scaling, upcoming events include a presentation with Lulu Ngcobo (CWBSA) and Faith Dziruni (PLH) on 1 March at the World Without Orphans Conference. A meeting was also held with Dr Ora-orn Poocharoen (Chiang Mai University) and Tim Reilly from Management Systems International on 4 January to review scaling scenarios and discuss a national strategy for scaling.


Studies focused on cost-benefit analysis and social return on investment of PLH-YC in Thailand have progressed well. Following several preparatory meetings with project partners, the Departments of Medicine and Economics, Chula Unisearch (the research arm of Chulalongkorn University), and Sal Forest consultancy firm, data collection was completed in Udon Thani and meetings with public health officials were conducted virtually. Analysis of the data is currently in progress, with study reports expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2024. 

The Peace Culture Foundation and its partners continue to work closely with the Boromarajonani Nursing College Udon Thani (BCNU) to create a local PLH training, supervision, and monitoring hub. A Parenting for Lifelong Health-Facilitator Assessor training led by Dr Mackenzie Martin was completed in November. The training was delivered to six lecturers at BCNU via two online sessions (4 hours each). On 19 December, the first in person meeting of the Thai Positive Parenting Community of Practice took place on the theme: ‘Building strong partnerships for positive parenting: From community-based programmes to national policies’. The CoP involved 3 plenary sessions and 4 parallel workshops which covered policy advocacy, digital parenting programmes, collaborative approaches, and monitoring and evaluation. In addition, the team recently joined the CRC Coalition Thailand. This will provide an opportunity to influence the national shadow report for Thailand during the next round of periodic reporting to the CRC Committee.

Implementation of the team’s research activities continues to progress well. With regards to ParentChat, finalisation of the research protocol and budget are in progress and ParentChat Research Manager Wilaiwan Pongpaew successfully presented her thesis proposal. There has been further clarification on the mixed methods approach to be undertaken and a timeframe for future delivery is being discussed. The team has also received ethical approval to conduct a qualitative study on opportunities and barriers to scaling up Parenting for Lifelong Health Young Children (PLH YC) in the Thailand public health system. MA student, Nan Mwe Nohn recently began a 1-year programme at the School of Public Policy, Chiang Mai University and will be working with the Peace Culture Foundation to develop a National Scaling Strategy for PLH. In addition, Rowland Edet completed his MA at Chiang Mai University and presented the findings of two literature reviews on frameworks and tools for scaling up social interventions and good practices from high and lower middle income countries at a July GPI Research in Progress meeting. The Peace Culture Foundation is also in consultation with PLH and IDEMS to develop an app to support process and impact monitoring of the PLH system. This would enable tracking of intervention reach and progression and provide data on household characteristics of participants.

 In June, the Peace Culture Foundation team organised the first facilitator training of 24 nursing students at the capacity building hub at Boromarajonani Nursing College Udon (BCNU) Thani, led by PLH master trainer Professor Judy Hutchings. On 16 June, PLH YC Coach training of 12 BCNU lecturers also took place. In addition, the first round of in-person programme delivery was completed by Group 1 cohort (12 parent groups). Group 2 cohort (10 parent groups) and 30 BCNU nursing students (12 parent groups) also began first rounds of in-person programme delivery. Other recent activities include the release of a third quarterly newsletter in July and a Thai Positive Parenting Community of Practice Webinar on 3 August. In collaboration with Dr David Stern (IDEMS), the Peace Culture Foundation co-organised a consultation on digital strategies, which was held virtually on 1 July alongside 13 Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) staff, government health workers and academics working with ChildShield and PLH delivery. In addition, The Peace Culture Foundation presented alongside UNICEF EAPRO and Mahidol University on PLH YC research findings and scaling strategy at the MOPH International Conference on Mental Health (19 - 21 July). An in-person Community of Practice meeting with Dr Amanda Sim (Co Principal Investigator, Parenting on the Thailand/Myanmar Border study) is planned for 3 November to jointly present related work in Thailand. 

On 26 May 2023, the Peace Culture Foundation and the National Institute for Child and Family Development at Mahidol University organised the 5th Webinar of the Thai Positive Parenting Community of Practice (TPP CoP).

The topics and presenters were: 

  1. Sharing experience on using various programs in positive parenting training for parents in the communities by Ms. Paravada Tarat, Family Ministry Support Officer, Compassion Thailand;
  2. Strengths-based Family, Positive Family: Sharing experiences using VIA Character Strengths in raising children by Dr. Pinyo Rattanaphan, lecturer at Khon Kaen University; and
  3. Case Study: Positive Parenting and Family Strengthening Using the Family Strengthening Handbook by staff from One Sky Foundation and Step Ahead Foundation.

A total of 96 people participated in the webinar.

The webinar can be viewed here.

Reporting by Chalermkwan Chutimam, PLH-Thailand Project Coordinator



group picture plh workshop group 2

During 30 April - 3 May 2023 in Udon Thani, the Peace Culture Foundation and Boromarajonani College of Nursing Udon Thani (BCNU) organized a 4 day PLH-YC Facilitator Training Workshop for 11 public health workers from Public Health Administrative Region 8 in Northeast Thailand. This is the second facilitator training cohort for this year, and was the first time that two local PLH-YC trainers led a full four-day facilitator training on site. After this training, the facilitators will be working in pairs to deliver the PLH-YC programme to approximately 150 parents in the provinces of Sakorn Nakhorn and Nakorn Panom.




On 24 April 2023, Dr Sombat Tapanya and Dr Amalee McCoy met with Dr Dutsadee Juengsiragul, director of Bureau of Mental Health Service Administration, Ministry of Public Health, as well as a team of academics and psychologists at the Rajanagarindra Institute of Child Development in order to have an initial discussion regarding the initiation of a Training Centre for Parenting Programmes for the Northern region, located in Chiang Mai. The centre would potentially become a hub for the capacity building of programme staff for PLH-YC, NetPama, and the Thai Preschool Parenting Programme (PPP).

Reporting by Chalermkwan Chutimam, PLH-Thailand Project Coordinator

Thai Positive Parenting Community of Practice 4th Webinar

On 27 February 2023, the Peace Culture Foundation and the National Institute for Child and Family Development at Mahidol University organized the 4th Webinar of the Thai Positive Parenting Community of Practice (TPP CoP). The topics & presenters were:

1. “Raising Responsible Children” by Prof. Umaporn Trangkasombut, M.D., Specialist in Child and Adolescent Psychology, Outstanding Psychiatrist From the Psychiatric Association of Thailand

2. “Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY)” New Zealand by Dr. Maneerat Sutanchaiya, Lecturer at Rajabhat University, Loei Province

3. "Study of Approach to Develop Roles of Multidisciplinary Teams in Child Care with Positive Discipline in an Orphanage” by Mrs. Keerati Leawsakul, a Professional Social Worker from Chiang Mai Home for Boys.

There were 76 people in attendance.


Project Steering Committee Interactive Discussion on Scaling Up Parenting for Lifelong Health in Thailand

On 27 March 2022 at the Sukosol Hotel, Bangkok, the Peace Culture Foundation and the School of Public Policy, Chiang Mai University invited Project Steering Committee members and GPI Playful Parenting Future Leader Scholars to explore scale-up prospects for PLH programmes in Thailand, with an emphasis on PLH Young Children. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Ora-orn Poocharoen, Director of the School of Public Policy, Chiang Mai University. Dr. Jamie Lachman, Saara Thakur, and Stephanie Eagling-Peche also attended.

Expected outcomes were that participants would be able to:

1. Better understand the project on scaling up Parenting for Lifelong Health in Thailand;

2. Share their ideas on the vision for scale up;

3. Propose channels for intervention and potential policy tools that will facilitate scale up;

4. Identify key stakeholders and how different agencies can collaborate on scaling;

5. Share their views on drivers and barriers to scaling; and 6. identify broad steps and a timeframe for achieving scale up.


PLH-YC Facilitator Training Workshop

During 30 March - 2 April 2023, the Peace Culture Foundation and Boromarajonani College of Nursing Udon Thani (BCNU) organized the first full in-person training for PLH-YC facilitators since 2018. The Master Trainer was Prof. Judy Hutchings, who was supported by two co-trainers: Radathorn Wongnoppadon and Namthip Rattananimit. Participants included 12 lecturers from BCNU and 12 health workers (nurses, public health officers, and social workers) from four provinces in Health Administrative Region 8.



Reporting by Chalermkwan Chutimam, PLH-Thailand Project Coordinator


The Parenting Within the Public Health System in Thailand team has held a number of events over the past two months:

PLH-YC Project Steering Committee meeting

On 13 December 2022, the 2nd PLH Project Steering Committee was organised via Zoom. Nine out of 11 steering committee members attended. We finalised the Terms of Reference for the Project Steering Committee, Dr. Sombat Tapanya shared an overview of project implementation progress to date and plans for the upcoming year, and Dr. Amalee McCoy presented on the theory of change for PLH Young Children and how we measure behaviour change. We are planning to have a special workshop meeting with the PSC on national scale-up on 27 March 2023.


Thai Positive Parenting Community of Practice 3rd webinar

On 31 January 2023, we organised the third webinar of TPP CoP with three speakers from the Books for Children Foundation, the Internet Foundation for the Development of Thailand, and the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University. A total of 56 participants attended.


PCF Facilitator training refresh

refresher facilitator training workshop  chalermkwan chuthima

On 19-21 December 2022, Peace Culture Foundation and Boromarajonani College of Nursing Udon Thani organised a PLH Facilitator Refresher Training Workshop at BCNUT. We had nine facilitator trainees participate, all of whom had attended a remote PLH facilitator training via Zoom in 2021. After this, they will come up with a plan to train parents in their working area. The nine people came from four different provinces in the Northeast, and consisted of nurses, social workers and psychologists all working within the public health system.

September/October 2022

September and October were busy for Parenting Within the Public Health System in Thailand!

dr sombat dr amalee at bnc

Dr Sombat Tapanya and Dr Amalee McCoy at BNC

The Peace Culture Foundation and the National Institute for Child and Family Development at Mahidol University were thrilled to host the online webinar-style launch of the Thai Positive Parenting Community of Practice on 5 September. This is the first positive parenting community of practice in Thailand! Speakers at the launch included Dr. Sombat Tapanya, Dr. Panadda Thanasetkorn, and Dr. Amalee McCoy, as well Mr. Joel Borgstrom from our funders, the World Childhood Foundation. The event was well-attended by members of the community from NGOs, INGOs, academics, former government officials, social workers and parents.

You can learn more about the Thai Positive Parenting Community of Practice at their website:

Watch the launch webinar here

In September, we held meetings with various partners. Firstly, a meeting was held with Boromarajonani College of Nursing (BNC) in which we discussed an action plan for the training of BNC staff as facilitators. This meeting is the next step after the meeting in August when the Peace Culture Foundation and BNC agreed to have the nursing college be a Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH) training hub. Another meeting was held between Dr. Sombat Tapanya, Dr. Amalee McCoy, and Dr. Ora-orn Poocharoen, the director of the School of Public Policy, Chiang Mai University. In this meeting, we established the first-year project work plan and brainstormed the research plan and protocol for the literature reviews for a study on strategic planning for the sustainable and scalable integration of PLH in policy and service delivery in Thailand Project.

We were pleased to welcome Rowland Edet to our team. Rowland will be working with the GPI as an ECR. Lastly, we started focus group discussions for our study titled “Barriers to and Enabling Factors of Male Caregiver Engagement in Social Learning Theory-based Parenting Programmes in Northern and North-eastern Thailand”. Data collection will continue throughout September and October.


November 2022

The Peace Culture Foundation and the National Institute for Child and Family Development, Mahidol University hosted the second Thai Positive Parenting Community of Practice webinar on 7 November. Speakers included  a representative from the Department of Women's Affairs and Family Development, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Childline Thailand 1387 and Step Ahead Foundation, speaking on topics such as  the role of the government in supporting parenting, ending corporal punishment, and how family strengthening improves outcomes for children. Attendees included government officials, teachers, NGOs, social workers, doctors, psychologists, nurses, aftercare specialists, child protection workers, program coordinators and guardians interested in positive parenting.

You can view the recording here.