Into the Foreground: an Evaluation of the Jacana Parenting Programme

November 6, 2011

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The Jacana Parenting Service was a pilot programme developed and delivered in partnership between the nia project and Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) to support parents affected by current and historic domestic violence (DV) in Hackney. The programme offered separate interventions for men as perpetrators and support to women as victim-survivors, using individual and group work, and was funded by the Parenting Fund. Lessons from the pilot were to be integrated into specialised DV support and intervention, and hopefully extend into wide parenting programmes where DV is often not addressed explicitly.
The aims of this evaluation were to:

  • develop a model that synthesises international best practice to address parenting in the context of abusive relationships;
  • improve the parenting skills of women and men involved in abusive relationships;
  • enable parents to understand violence/abuse from the child’s perspective and to minimise its impacts;
  • work with mothers/carers and children to create safety plans;
  • risk assess abusive fathers to better enable practitioners to minimise and manage risks;
  • share best practice with practitioners.

This evaluation was commissioned by the nia project to explore both processes and outcomes of the pilot programme. While data for the latter is limited and outcomes in themselves not straightforward to establish, the experiences of women and men who participated in the programme are drawn on to illustrate how Jacana enabled change and new beginnings. A key part of the evaluation was assessing the process of implementing the programme, and what lessons can be gleaned about development, delivery, practice, and negotiating multi-agency responses.