Understandings of efficacy: cross-national perspectives on ‘what works’ in supporting parents and families

Boddy, Janet, Smith, Marjorie and Statham, June (2011) Understandings of efficacy: cross-national perspectives on ‘what works’ in supporting parents and families. Ethics and Education, 6 (2). pp. 181-196. ISSN 1744-9642

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The research literature on parenting support typically focuses on English-speaking countries, such as England, the United States and Australia. This article draws on a review, commissioned by the English government, which examined policies and services to support parenting in five European countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, and considered the evidence for effectiveness. In exploring differences between the five countries, and with England, this article raises questions about the way in which understandings of ‘what works’ can inform the ways in which support for parents and families is designed and delivered. An emphasis on formal outcome evaluations, as in England, favours the use of standardised parenting programmes, which are more amenable to evaluation of effectiveness using quasi-experimental research designs. In some other European countries, support for parents and families is embedded in universal service provision, rather than a discrete, time-limited ‘intervention’, and hence evaluation is more likely to involve assessment of individual progress (is this working for this family?) rather than assessment of the overall efficiency of a standardised programme.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: parenting support, effectiveness, parents, families
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women > HQ0503 The Family. Marriage. Home > HQ0755 Parents. Parenthood Including parent and child, husbands, fathers, wives, mothers
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV0040 Social service. Social work. Charity organization and practice Including social case work, private and public relief, institutional care, rural social work, work relief
Depositing User: Cecilia Kimani
Date Deposited: 11 May 2012 10:39
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2012 11:15
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/39290
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