A feasibility study of Barnardo’s Pharos group work programme to build resilience in children affected by parental substance abuse.

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    Aim: To present an overview of the findings from a feasibility study of Barnardo’s Pharos group work programme. Background: Barnardo’s Pharos group work programme is novel in that it is one of a few programmes in the UK exclusively developed to build resilience in children (aged 8-16 years) of substance abusers. It is an 8 week intervention delivered by trained practitioners experienced in working with parental substance abuse in families. The programme is delivered to children who are level 3 or 4 in the Hardiker model i.e. families with complex/critical needs leading to the involvement of statutory services. Methods: This study explored the feasibility of trialling the group work programme. Baseline data were collected from children upon entry to the programme (via questionnaire). Three focus groups were facilitated with children (n=23) post-programme, to explore their experiences of taking part in the programme. Five practitioners were interviewed to explore issues of process and implementation i.e. acceptability of a pilot RCT, demand/use, implementation (barriers and enablers), practicality (resources, sustainability) and integration. Five parents were interviewed to discuss experiences of substance abuse in the family and the acceptability of a pilot trial. Four observations of the delivery of the programme were carried out to identify implementation issues arising from its use in different contexts. Findings: Feedback from children, parents and service providers was positive and indicated the programme is ready for a pilot trial of its effectiveness. Implications for policy & practice: Substance abuse depletes the ability to parent effectively and places children at risk of a range of adverse outcomes (e.g. mental health). To date, few theory driven interventions have been developed and evaluated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    EventUNESCO Child and Family Research Centre 9th Biennial International Conference: Changing Families, Changing Policy, Changing Practice: Family Support Now and in the Future. - Institute for Lifecourse and Society, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland
    Duration: 13 Jun 201914 Jun 2019


    ConferenceUNESCO Child and Family Research Centre 9th Biennial International Conference

    ID: 172945189