Empowering Parents, empowering communities

The Murdoch Children's Research Institute received funding from the Tasmanian Early Years Foundation in September 2011 to implement a pilot of a peer-led parenting program developed by the Centre for Parent and Child Support in South London. This report represents an evaluation of the pilot of Empowering Parents – Empowering Communities (EPEC) in Tasmania. The evaluation involved an analysis of program documentation and consultation with project staff, parent facilitators and parents, observation of training sessions and analysis of a range of feedback tools.

EPEC is a peer led model, in that it involves pairs of trained parent facilitators delivering a program to groups of parents over the course of eight weekly, two and a half hour sessions. EPEC in Tasmania has successfully trained eighteen parent facilitators to deliver Being a Parent courses around the state. Parent facilitators report satisfaction with the skills provided through the EPEC model and early indications are that confidence and self-esteem have improved along with reinforcement of the specialised skills taught in BAP. In fact, there has been a surprising level of personal growth amongst the parent facilitators.

One parent facilitator reports:

You come together as a group, with common ground, with a desire to make a difference. You feel important because you have the knowledge; you can spread the message and do some good. You become an important person in your community. It's exciting.

Ninety four parents have completed the BAP course in seven communities around Tasmania during the pilot phase of EPEC in Tasmania. The BAP project has demonstrated a high retention rate with 79 per cent of participants completing the course. The data presented in this report demonstrates that BAP has achieved substantial impact on parenting skills of these parents. The content of the course strikes a chord with parents and feedback shows that parents who have undertaken the BAP training report thinking more and listening better. They have embraced the knowledge and tools provided in BAP and report significant improvements in their children's behaviour.

Download the Empowering Parents, empowering communities report (PDF, 1.44MB) for more information.

Best practice guides