Evaluation of Pathways Triple P Helping parents to build strong relationships with their children and keep them safe from neglect

Man talking to two childrenPathways Triple P (Positive Parenting Programme) is a service for parents of children who have, or are at risk of developing, behavioural problems. Triple P aims to help parents find practical parenting strategies that improve relationships with their children and build up a strong bond. We delivered this service at home for families of children aged 2-12.

We've tested the effectiveness of Pathways Triple P for the first time with families where there are concerns about neglect. We compared child outcomes with families who received an NSPCC family support service for neglect between 2006 and 2009.

Our report evaluates Pathways Triple P to see how it works and whether it works effectively to improve outcomes for neglected children.

Triple P is part of our Improving parenting, improving practice service and this report is part of our Impact and evidence series.

Author: Paul Whalley
Published: 2015

Children had fewer emotional and behavioural difficulties at the end of Pathways Triple P. At the start almost three-quarters (74%) of the children had severe problems. By the end of the programme this had reduced to under half (45%). 

Parents reported positive change in their children’s emotional and behavioural difficulties at the end of the programme. This included a reduction in:

  • conduct problems
  • emotional symptoms
  • hyperactivity.

Parents reported that their parenting had improved following Pathways Triple P. About two-thirds (65%) of parents had severe problems at the start. This had reduced to around a fifth (21%) at the end of the service. 

Relationships between parents and their children significantly improved following Pathways Triple P. Parents reported improvements in:

  • involvement with their child
  • communication with their child
  • setting limits
  • giving appropriate autonomy to their child.

Parents said a key element of the programme's success was having a practitioner who was flexible with new ideas and suggestions and non-judgemental in their approach.

Our comparison with families who received an NSPCC family support service for neglect between 2006 and 2009 showed similar amounts of change for the Pathways Triple P families. The outcomes that changed were different for each service.

Next steps

The learning from this evaluation will be further developed in the new NSPCC service Thriving Families.

Acknowledgments 4
Key findings: young persons version 5
Key findings 6
Executive summary 7
Chapter 1: Introduction 10
Chapter 2: Outcomes for parents 25
Chapter 4: Views from parents on change and the factors that helped them achieve change 27
Chapter 5: Conclusion and Discussion 41
References 44
Appendices 44

"Me and my son get along better and the techniques have worked."

"I'm more confident ... Not resolved but I am able to deal with situations differently without feeling stressed."

Please cite as: Whalley, P. (2015) Child neglect and Pathways Triple P: an evaluation of an NSPCC service offered to parents where initial concerns of neglect have been noted. London: NSPCC.

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