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AdOpt Parenting Programme

Project start date: January 2015

We (The National Implementation Service) were awarded £4.1m to increase the use of evidence based interventions in children’s services through the development, replication and scaling of high quality programmes – including multi-systemic therapy , KEEP, a training programme for foster carers and ResULT a theraputic training programme for residential care staff.

Project Summary


We support proven interventions that are replicable and scalable in the UK. Interventions funded by the DfE included KEEP, RESuLT, Multi Systemic Therapy for Youth with Problem Sexual Behaviour (MST-PSB) and for Family Integrated Transitions (MST – FIT), AdOpt and TEND.

KEEP  training enhances skills and confidence for foster and kinship carers,  to improve placement quality and children’s outcomes. The KEEP evaluation demonstrated reductions in emotional distress as well as improvements in carer well-being. KEEP is well-positioned to scale to a larger number of LAs.

RESuLT is a 12-week, whole team training for residential child care workers, helping build relational skills for young people and promote positive behaviour.  Evaluation suggested RESuLT is suitable for the modern residential sector, and should be expanded and evaluated further.

The evaluation of MST with young people with Problem Sexual Behaviour sought to determine whether MST contributes to a reduction in out-of-home placements for young people at risk of being removed from their homes due to PSB.  The evaluation identified the importance of the positive therapist relationship that enabled parents to understand a child’s behaviour and repair their relationship.

AdOpt is a parenting programme to help adoptive parents develop techniques to address particular difficulties adopted children may experience. The evaluation suggests AdOpt is effective in reducing overall problems and specifically conduct problems.  AdOpt is one of a very small number of programmes in the UK specifically aimed at adoptive parents that uses a rigorous theoretical evidence base to improve adoptive relationships.

The TEND pilot (Training to Enhance and Nurture Development) showed that carer sensitivity and children’s development can be improved using a group based video interaction informed programme.

Finally, the MST-FIT programme used MST to transition looked after children with a plan back to the care of their family members or long-term carers.  Evaluation of the feasibility of MST FIT indicated the programme was considered by professionals to be much needed.  Families indicated a positive experience related to their relationship to MST therapists.

The MST, AdOpt, KEEP and RESULT interventions are all ongoing and will be scaled up where appropriate across a number of local authorities.

Find out more

Project contact details

Simon Cornwell

Project evaluators

University of Sussex, University of Bristol, Loughborough University, Ipsos MORI, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, University College London

Project partners

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, National and Specialist CAMHS, Michael Rutter Centre

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