The NFRC research centre is evaluating the Mencap Parent Pioneers Project. The Parent Pioneers project is piloting a model of preventative support for parents with learning difficulties which includes enabling parents to attend adapted Mellow Parenting Courses and to be provided with on-going support by a specially trained volunteer. Parents with learning difficulties often come into contact with Child Protection services because there are concerns about the welfare of their children. Parents with learning difficulties often have a range of social difficulties, while also often lacking supportive social networks or easy to understand information about parenting. Research has found that pro-active support can improve parenting.
The evaluation will investigate the impact of the parenting programme and volunteer support on the parents and the welfare of their children as well as the impact of this new model of support on the two local authorities involved in the pilot.