Luton parents are participating in national research into Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities parenting course
Together Research, University College London is working with Flying Start Luton as part of their national research study aiming to assess whether parents who are offered this 13-week group-based parenting programme will feel better in themselves, feel less stressed and generally more able to cope with looking after their families.
For over 10 years, the Race Equality Foundation, a charity working to promote race equality in the UK, has been organising group-based parenting programmes for families particularly from minority ethnic communities and those living in poverty. Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communitieshas had major success in engaging with communities across many parts of the country. Although very popular with the families involved, including courses regularly offered in Luton, the programme had not yet been fully evaluated to show if it is effective in achieving its goals. The Race Equality Foundation, keen to address this gap in knowledge initiated this current study.
Across several urban areas of England, including Luton, where ethnically and socially mixed communities live, the course is being offered to families who either decided themselves that they need help or families referred by professionals. Parents taking part in the study have been randomly allocated to either immediately start the Luton course in January 2021 or to wait for a nine month period before starting it in September 2021.
All the parents agreeing to take part in the study have been interviewed by phone at the start, will be interviewed after the programme has been completed and then 6 months later. A smaller number of parents and staff involved in delivering the programme will be interviewed about their views and experiences of it. This is a great opportunity for the voice of Luton parents to contribute to this important national research.
We are still recruiting parents for the courses. They need to live in Luton and have a child aged between 3 and 16 years of age in the family. Please send any referrals through to FlyingStartParenting@luton.gov.uk.