For enquiries about The POLICY RESEARCH BUREAU's past work,

Key Elements of Effective Practice in Parenting Programmes


This project, commissioned by the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (YJB), was a partnership between the Policy Research Bureau and the Trust for the Study of Adolescence (TSA). It complemented the National Evaluation of the YJB's Parenting Programme and the Parenting Programme Reconviction Study, which was already undertaken by the Policy Research Bureau and TSA's work as National Supporters for Yots running parenting projects.

What did the research focus on?

The Effective Practice project focused on parenting support within the community and within the 'secure estate' (custodial and secure institutions for young people). It further developed the research originally undertaken as part of the National Evaluation. The project pulled together evidence from this study and integrated it systematically with wider research and practice evidence on 'what works' in parenting interventions with young offenders, or those at risk of offending.

What did the research involve?

The research involved the following aspects:
  • a review of the existing research and practice literature on what works in parenting and youth offending
  • the analysis and pulling together of our evidence on parenting support within the context of the youth justice system
  • field visits to parenting interventions that are examples of 'promising practice'
  • contact with wider national and international networks of professionals working in the fields of policy, practice and evaluation of parenting support for parents of young offenders and of those at risk of offending.

Timescale and final products of the research

The final output from the project consisted of a document entitled 'Guidelines for Effective Practice in Parenting Programmes', which was written to a standard format designed by the Youth Justice Board and delivered in June 2002. These guidelines also incorporated brief good practice case studies, and formed the basis of a 'quality assurance' checklist for the delivery of parenting interventions that were drafted by a team at the Board. The YJB has circulated the guidelines to all the Youth Offending Teams and other youth justice teams working in the field.

Policy Research Bureau and Trust for the Study of Adolescence (2002) Parenting: Key Elements of Effective Practice. Edition 1. London: Youth Justice Board for England and Wales.

See Publications for further details.

Last updated July 2004