NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has rejected the conclusions of a report examining Glasgow’s parenting support framework due to its lack of robustness.
The report was commissioned to evaluate the impact of parenting support programmes that have been introduced across the city.
However there are a number of issues in the report which compromise the contribution it can make to our understanding of parenting support in Glasgow.
Our main areas of concern centre on the evaluation of the Triple P programme which is one of a range of early years interventions offered to Glasgow families.
The data in the report are limited, in part because parents did not complete the post-course assessment forms.
No attempt was made by the authors to answer a key question of why people appear not to have completed these forms.
Instead the authors concluded that those who simply did not return assessment forms did not complete the course.
This lacks credibility as a position as it betrays a basic lack of understanding of the way people live their lives.
Negative assumptions have been made in place of actual evidence.
And where data are available, this does not support the authors’ conclusions about the effectiveness of Triple P or take account of the time and effort involved in practitioners adopting a new programme and parents engaging with it.
The result is an incomplete evaluation based on very limited data and conclusions that do not stand up to scrutiny.
Professor Linda de Caestecker, NHSGGC Director of Public Health, said: “Triple P programme has supported more than 30,000 families since its introduction in 2009.
“Despite consistent and overwhelming evidence from parents and practitioners that Triple P is delivering improved outcomes, the report authors claim that it is not possible to attribute these improvements to the parenting programme.
“Our own evidence shows that Triple P is making a positive difference to the lives of thousands of families.”
Mark Feinmann, Director North-east sector, Glasgow CHP and chair of the city-wide parenting core group, said: “We commissioned this evaluation to enable us to get independent views on the effectiveness of the city’s parenting framework.
“We are, of course, open to constructive criticism and indeed welcome weak areas being exposed.
“However, our concerns regarding the quality of data and the lack of impartiality in the report means that we cannot use its conclusions to shape decision making on parenting support within the city. As such, we are now considering alternative options for an independent evaluation of our Parenting Support Framework.”
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