Improving parenting, improving practice Helping parents struggling to care for their children
This service is no longer being delivered, but we have carried out an evaluation. On these pages you can find out how the service worked and what we've learnt.
Helping parents who are struggling to care for their children can make a big difference, both now and in the future.
Children are neglected when their parents can't or won't meet their needs. Problems in parents' lives can make it harder for them to care for their children, these include:
- past abuse
- domestic violence
- mental illness
- a drug or alcohol problem.
Helping children get the support they need
We've tested 2 different ways to reduce neglect through helping parents of children aged between 2 and 12 develop a better bond with their child and understand what they need. These are Video Interaction Guidance and Positive Parenting Programme (Triple P).
Video Interaction Guidance
Using a filmed clip to show parents their strengths, this builds their confidence and encourages them to think about how they respond to their child.
How it worked
- We would visit a family at home (or occasionally somewhere else) and film the children playing a game or doing another activity with their parents.
- We edited the film to highlight what's gone well.
- We watched the film with the parents.
- We highlighted the positive things the parents have done, helping to build their confidence in their parenting.
- We helped parents to find ways they could do things even better.
Visits normally took place over 8 weeks and at the end, we gave the family a film to keep which shows how their relationship with their child had improved. We'd also discuss how they can keep on track in the future.
Video Interaction Guidance was developed in the Netherlands in the 1980s by Harrie Biemans and colleagues. It was adapted and brought to the UK by Hilary Kennedy at Dundee University.
Positive Parenting Programme
Also known as Pathways Triple P, Positive Parenting Programme helps parents to:
- manage stress, anger and mood swings
- improve how they communicate with their child
- improve their parenting skills (including how to handle challenging behaviour)
- increase confidence in their parenting.
We would visit a family at home and help parents agree some goals to aim for. We'd help parents to reach their goals both during the visits and in the future. Normally, we'd visit a family for 10 weeks but this can be longer if they need extra help. Parents would practice what they learned between sessions.
Triple P was originally developed in the 1980s by the University of Queensland, Australia. Pathways Triple P is a further development of this.
Graded Care Profile 2
Evidence Based Decisions
Our services help give children and families a voice. With your support, we can continue working to protect children and prevent abuse.
Child abuse and neglect
Support our services
Our services give children and families a voice when they desperately need support. With your help, we can make sure even more children are safe from abuse.
It's time to demand change
The government doesn't know how many children have been abused and need support. Find out what we've been fighting for.