Babies and bathwater: valuing the early years

Date: 27th March 2013
Category: Disability, Basic Health and Welfare

A recent evaluation in Glasgow and a systemic review and meta-analysis of Triple P (positive parenting programme) more generally indicate that the long-term effectiveness of the programme is unclear.

This is concerning given the millions of pounds which have been invested in the programme. All the more so, given the lack of investment in health visiting, which provides a universally trusted and vital service to all families in the early years.

The Positive Parenting Programme (Triple P) is a multi-level behavioural family intervention which has in recent years been proposed and used on a whole-population basis as a 'public health' intervention in addition to its use on a more targeted basis. The public health model involves a stepped approach with interventions ranging from mass media campaigns to highly targeted intensive group work with parents.

In 2009, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde launched the Parenting Support Framework (PSF) for Glasgow. A key part of the PSF was 'Triple P' with the University of Glasgow commissioned to conduct an independent evaluation. The year one evaluation report has just been released. This explores the first 18 months of the programme in Glasgow, and provides baseline data about social, emotional and behavioural difficulties experienced by children in Glasgow.