This is the first of a 2 part series discussing how to include vulnerable families in programme evaluation by Nicola McConnell
We've just completed our evaluation of Caring Dads: Safer Children, a parenting programme for domestically abusive fathers, based on the original Canadian Caring Dads programme.
We were trying to measure whether the programme can change behaviour and prevent further abuse. Previous research suggested that perpetrators of abuse tend to minimise and underreport their abusive behaviour, so we couldn’t rely solely on what fathers attending the programme told us.
Ideally, we also wanted the views of partners/ex-partners and children - but as they are a potentially vulnerable group, we needed to know if this could this be done safely and ethically.
I wanted to share the challenges we faced.