Evaluation of Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) What works in building parenting skills and confidence to help tackle child neglect

Woman and girl looking at paper caterpillarVideo Interaction Guidance (VIG) helps families where there are concerns about neglect, especially emotional neglect. VIG is based on the belief that even in difficult situations everyone has the power and capacity to change. Parents decide what they want to change and set specific goals. VIG practitioners then use video to show positive moments during parent-child activities and help parents build on these moments to make a stronger bond with their child.

AVIGuk supported and trained NSPCC practitioners in the principles and use of VIG. This report measures the impact of VIG and considers evidence from the perspective of parents who took part in the programme. We also compare child outcomes for VIG with outcomes for children in families who received an NSPCC family support service for neglect between 2006 and 2009.

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

Authors: Paul Whalley and Mike Williams
Published: 2015

Children's behaviour

Children had high levels of difficulties at the start of the Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) programme. This is concerning as VIG focused on providing an early intervention service for families not yet in the child protection system.

After participating in VIG children had fewer emotional and behavioural difficulties. At the start of VIG almost three-quarters (72%) of the children were experiencing severe problems. By the end of the programme this had reduced to just over half (56%).

Parents reported improvements in their child's behaviour by the end of the programme including a reduction in:

  • conduct problems such as temper tantrums or fighting
  • emotional problems such as worries and fears
  • hyperactivity such as fidgeting or lack of concentration.

Parents also saw increases in their child's positive behaviour including sharing and being considerate, helpful and kind.


We compared child outcomes for VIG with child outcomes in families who received an NSPCC family support service for neglect between 2006 and 2009. Both groups showed similar amounts of change.


Parenting strategies improved following VIG. About half (49%) of parents had severe problems at the start but by the end this had fallen to 40%.

After completing the VIG programme, parents reported feeling more confident in their parenting ability. Parents felt they had better insight into the behaviour, needs and problems of their children.


Relationships between parents and their children improved. Parents reported better involvement and communication with their child and were able to set limits for their child. Receiving practical and emotional support for their parenting helped these changes.

Partnership between parent and practitioner was key. It was important that the VIG practitioner was respectful and non-judgemental and able to provide new ideas and suggestions.

Barriers to participation

Some parents faced barriers to their participation in VIG. These included health problems for the parent or the child and other issues impacting on a parent's relationship with their child such as adult relationship breakdown.

Next steps

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

Acknowledgements 5
Key findings: young people's version 6
Key findings 7
Executive summary 9
Chapter 1: Introductions 16
Chapter 2: Outcomes for children 31
Chapter 3: Outcomes for parents 37
Chapter 4: Views from parents on change and the factors that helped them achieve change 41
Chapter 5: Conclusion and discussion 60
References 66
Appendices 69

"100% happy, we are communicating as a family. We talk to each other when we have a problem."

"The best thing was ... spending more time with mum doing cool activities."

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

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