Supporting parenting

Children should benefit from supportive, compassionate parenting that sets them up for success

There is a strong link between the quality of parenting and child outcomes. We know that evidence-based support which is carefully matched to parent and child needs can improve outcomes for children. 

Our work is focussed on understanding and supporting the use of programmes and approaches shown to be effective for a range of family circumstances. Where we don’t know what works we are focussed on generating evidence, for example, on what works to support parenting in higher risk families and a child protection context. 

What do we already know?

Support for parenting and parental capacity to interact positively with their child can improve child outcomes.   

There is good evidence for supporting parenting in families where there are issues with child behaviour. We know, however, that these programmes are not always used. Even when we have a strong evidence base on how best to support parenting for groups of children and parents these services are not always available locally.     

What more do we need to know?

We know what works for some, but not all, children and families in this area.  For example, we know less about how best to support families where there are factors that can make parenting particularly difficult, including substance misuse, parental conflict, abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and parental mental health issues. There is a lack of evidence about the types of parenting support likely to be most effective in the context of some of these risks.  

What are we doing about it?

Where we know what works, we will be working with the government and the sector to make sure these programmes can be rolled out and embedded in the right way to improve outcomes for families. In 2024 we will publish a practice guide on parenting and be working with local authorities to support them to deliver the most effective interventions.

Where there are evidence gaps, we will be doing further research to fill these gaps. For example, we will be looking at interventions to support parenting in higher risk families and in a child protection context. 

Lighthouse Parenting Programme

Virtual and Digital Interventions

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