Research Report: 'A Collective Evaluation of Community Parent Programmes'
This extensive and in depth 16 chapter research report offers invaluable insights to practitioners and commissioners into how a successful UK Community Parent Programme works in practice. The 2-year study particularly addressed the following two questions:
- What worked well and in what circumstances?
- How could programmes be modified to improve effectiveness?
Ten Community Parent Programmes (CPPs) operating across England, Wales and Scotland participated in the research project including coordinators, 456 parents, 101 community mothers, 4 community fathers and 123 front-line community workers who were in a position to make referrals.
Key aspects of programme delivery are analysed:
- Recruiting and retaining Community Parent volunteers
- Volunteer training, supervision and personal development processes
- How parents accessed support from a Community Parent
- How the semi-structured home visits provided by the Community Parents were delivered, the issues the parents they supported worked on and the goals they achieved
- Parents' views of the support they received from their Community Parent
- Evidence of impact on both sets of beneficiaries i.e. the parents supported and the Community Parent volunteers
- Integrated working with local front-line practitioners
The concluding chapter provides a range of best practice recommendations.
No previous studies had been carried out of this particular Community Parent model operating in the UK. The study also addressed the lack of evidence in the research literature of how community development and parenting support programmes actually work in practice. The study particularly examines the community development and empowerment processes that are intrinsic to successful implementation.
The research was funded by the Health Foundation and sponsored by the South West Essex NHS Research Consortium. Multi-centre ethical approval was granted by South Essex NHS Research Ethics Committee. An independent peer review of the research proposal was carried out and an advisory group of senior researchers provided support as the research progressed.