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Title: A mixed method evaluation of a parent drop-in project
Author: Lew, Amy Sue Lyn
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 4065
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2011
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The aim of this mixed method research was to evaluate the effectiveness of a Parent Drop-in Project offered by Educational Psychologists (EPs) in children's centres. The project was designed to provide parents, carers and families with immediate support and direct access to the Education Psychology Service in the form of a brief consultation service. A total of 36 parents participated in the research and provided quantitative measures of levels of concerns and confidence via the Parent Questionnaires. These questionnaires were completed before and after attending the drop-ins. The views of eight parents and a group of EPs were also gathered via semistructured interviews and a focus group discussion. The quantitative data were analysed statistically (i. e. Wilcoxon Test) while the qualitative data were analysed using Thematic Analysis. The outcomes suggested that the Parent Drop-in Project was significantly successful in reducing parents' levels of concerns and at the same time increasing their confidence. Interestingly, qualitative findings revealed that there were a number of therapeutic effects and these were mediated by the process of normalising parental concerns. This concept indicates that the act of acknowledging and validating parents' thoughts and feelings may powerfully encourage parents to reframe and change their thought patterns. This research also found a positive impact on child and familial outcomes such as enhancing family dynamics and relationships. Additionally, views of EPs emphasised that the Parent Drop-in Project promoted opportunities for professional development, joint-working as well as job satisfaction and enjoyment. Furthermore, this research has also recommended the importance of a more rigorous methodology, which includes obtaining information from a diverse sample to strengthen the research in this area. Finally, this research not only contributed to evidence-based practice, it also proposed that the Parent Drop-in Project was an effective model of service delivery in supporting parents to improve outcomes for their children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Ch.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available