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An effective programme is not enough: a review of factors associated with poor attendance and engagement with parenting support programmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Karen A. Whittaker, Sarah Cowley

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138 - 149
Number of pages12
JournalChildren and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

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  • King's College London


The provision of parenting support is a key feature of wealthier nations health and social care services. However, attendance and engagement by the neediest parents remains poor. Barriers experienced by parents include personal life factors (beliefs, lifestyles and limited resources) and programme-specific factors (delivery, content and support arrangements). Here we give consideration to these issues, drawing on published reviews of parenting programme effectiveness identified through a comprehensive search of electronic databases. We suggest ways of improving attendance and engagement, by providing programmes as part of a comprehensive framework of family support.

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