Evaluating the impact of our work is a continuing priority. We ask parents and families who use our services for feedback – not just whether they have been helped, but how they think we can do better. We also commissioned an independent evaluation by the University of Winchester.
The 2017 evaluation, led by Prof Geoff Meads and Kathleen Butler, set out to answer a simple question – What difference does Friends of the Family make? It drew on responses from parents across all three of our projects.
The findings were overwhelmingly positive.
Among the key results:
- 77% of participants said they had become more confident about making parenting decisions and setting routines for their children
- 77% felt more able to manage day to day challenges
- 82 % felt confident to share their views with professionals
- 77% said Friends of the Families had helped them to recognise their own skills and abilities
Crucially, the study found that most of the parents we helped had not been in contact with other social groups and may have been feeling isolated. Coming together with people who had similar experiences helped them to form support groups of their own.
And one final encouraging finding – 100% of parents in the study said they would recommend our services to other parents.
The good you bring to my world is priceless.
“Friends of the Family have given me emotional support throughout, provided counselling and helped me to access things I needed for the baby when I had no money. I have made good and lasting friendships there and my daughter loves the company of other children. Honestly, I would have been lost without this group.”
Laura, Mums and young children