Evaluation of the 'You First' Programme for Young Parents - Appendices

This report presents the findings of an evaluation of the 'You First' pilot programme, which was developed by Barnardos Scotland and funded by the Scottish Government. The evaluation explored the benefits of the You First programme and the ways in which these could be maximised through effective delivery.


Evaluation Objectives

Specific questions

Qualitative research with parents who have completed the programme

Qualitative research with parents who have not completed the programme8

Qualitative research with NHS lead, manager/co-facilitator, project worker

Qualitative research with health visitors

Qualitative research with other professionals

Qualitative research with facilitators

Analysis of administrative data

Evaluate the benefits of the You First pilot programme for parents and families

What benefits did parent hope for/expect?








To what extent have practical childcare skills improved? (e.g. feeding, bathing, changing baby, establishing a night time routine)






To what extent is there greater knowledge of child development issues and greater capacity to support children's learning? (e.g. what to expect from baby at each stage, how to stimulate baby, what toys/games are appropriate for each stage)





To what extent is there an enhanced parent/child relationship?





To what extent have parents' social networks and relationships improved (e.g. resolving relationship issues, making friends, dealing with conflicting advice from family and friends)






To what extent has parents' mental wellbeing improved? (e.g. improved self confidence, dealing with stress, awareness of post natal depression)








To what extent is there improved knowledge of personal health and risk factors? (e.g. reducing smoking, drinking or drug use, healthy eating, exercise)








To what extent has awareness of/access to sources of support and advice improved?






To what extent has awareness of/access to learning opportunities improved?








Evaluate the benefits of the You First pilot programme for parents and families

To what extent has awareness of/access to sources of careers advice improved?








To what extent have financial capabilities improved? (e.g. budgeting and benefits advice, awareness of affordable equipment and clothes)






To what extent is the SCQF qualification seen as a benefit?





To what extent have future planning capabilities improved (for medium and long term goals)?





Where there any unexpected benefits?




Identify ways in which the benefits can be maximised and sustained in the long term

What do parents want to happen once the programme has ended? Did this happen?








What further support is needed to help parents maintain the skills they have acquired?








Do parents remain in contact with others from their group?






How confident are parents in dealing with later stages of child development?






Do the parents pass on their learning to others (e.g. friends/family)?








Do the parents recommend the programme to others?







Does the programme encourage parents to take further qualifications/continue learning?





What exit strategies are in place to ensure parents' continued engagement with relevant services?

Identify ways in which the content of the programme could be improved9

What should be added to the content?




What should be removed from the content?




Identify ways in which the delivery of the programme could be improved

How are the sessions delivered? (e.g. solely by the facilitator, talks from other professionals, group work, self study)







What learning methods and delivery methods have been most successful?




Who is best placed to act as a facilitator for the programme? (in terms of skills/experience)








How effective was the training of the facilitators?






At what point in their child's development is it best for parents to attend the programme?





Is 1 day a week for 20 weeks the best structure for the programme?








How well equipped are the sessions? Are the facilities satisfactory? (e.g. does the programme have equipment to give practical demonstrations?)




What support is provided to parents in between the sessions?





What barriers stop parents applying skills learnt at the programme at home?








Evaluate whether the programme is fulfilling its person centred ideals

How involved are participants in the design and development of the programme?








How flexible is the programme in adapting to the wants and needs of participants?








Are facilitators using effective means to uncover the need and wants of participants?





Do participants have the chance to ask private questions in the group environment?





Are the SQCF requirements a barrier to the person centred approach?







Do professionals have any concerns that a person centred approach leaves gaps?





Does the flexibility of a person centred approach have any implications for the practicalities of arranging speakers and resources?






Assess whether the programme is successfully reaching its target group

Who is the target group?





How are the participants identified?







How are the participants referred?






What are the main sources of referral? Are there any other routes that would be appropriate but are not being used?







Why do some parents go on the programme while others do not? Who is not being reached?







Do the people on the programme really need it?






Identify ways in which parent retention rates can be improved

What motivated the parents to join the programme?





What motivated the parents to carry on attending the programme?




Why did parents drop out ?(e.g. they didn't like it, it wasn't useful, lack of confidence, scared of being 'judged' by their peers, fear that action might be taken if they admitted having problems/did not 'do well' in the course)





What are the practical barriers preventing parents from attending the programme (e.g. time, location, taking child, getting organised, travel arrangements)




What impact did the financial incentive have on initial recruitment/retention?





Assess the effectiveness of the management and support structures in place for the programme

Who has ownership of/who is involved with the You First programme?





How effective is the management structure in place for the programme?





Are stakeholders agreed about what the objectives of the programme are?








Are the objectives and outcomes clear?








Are the outcomes achievable? Are they measurable?








What support services are available for the programme? Are any others needed?





What funding arrangements are in place for the programme? Does this have any impact on the management of the programme?






How effective are the mechanisms in place for self-evaluation?






Explore the impact the programme has on other related services

What has been done to ensure that the programme fits with relevant local strategies and plans?




What has been done to ensure that the programme takes account of the local context and particular local needs?




Does the programme link in to other initiatives/services in the area?





What aspects of joint working with local services help or hinder the programme?





Does the programme identify parents and children with additional support needs and link them to relevant services?





Is there scope to share best practice/learn between programmes/share resources?





Are national and local stakeholders 'buying-in' to the programme?





Is there a conflict with child protection requirements?






Email: Ruth Whatling

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