Published On: 5 April 2023Tags: , ,

The Together Study is a National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) funded study evaluating the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) parenting programme.

The Race Equality Foundation has run two workshops as a part of our involvement in the Together Study with the Parent Advisory Group over March. The full study runs until March 2024 and aims to evaluate the effectiveness of Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) – a parenting programme run in the UK by the Race Equality Foundation. It does this by asking parents to answer a set of questionnaires taken before and after they are on SFSC and then compares these responses to parents who plan to take the programme in the future but are yet to have done so.

This funded research is mandated to have a Parent Advisory Group. After multiple examples of the public losing confidence in experts due to discrepancies between expert advice and what happens in practice, UK funding bodies now ask researchers to include people with lived experience as a part of their project work. The hope is to develop better accountability in the use of public funds for research, and to ensure the theories experts base their findings on are current so that any outcomes become more relevant to end users.

As the study is about to reach a milestone and come to the end of its data collection phase, these workshops looked to ask parents what they think is relevant, considering the overarching research questions of the study. The aim is for data analysis to be better targeted so that the key themes parents who have been on the programme have highlighted as important are those which are better understood when analysis begins.

A few of the key themes parents have identified the analysis should centre on include:

  • Understanding how the programme influences parents to become better role models for their children.
  • The strength of the programme in developing new skills, providing parents with the confidence to open up new channels of communication with their children – the end result being fostering better relationships.
  • The strength of the programme in community building using the topic of parenting within the home and the wider network of parenting within a community.
  • How better understanding and respect of other cultural values can feed into understanding generational dynamics at play for children.
  • How the programme provides parents with the confidence to approach difficult subjects more easily with their children.
  • How changes to the attitudes of parenting have led to better child wellbeing. This included less angry parents resulting in a calmer home environment and the creation of a safe space to talk about issues through special time together.

Please drop Trupti Patel an email at to find out more.