Evaluating the impact of parent workshops

Between April 2017 and September 2018 Fiveways conducted an independent evaluation of Contact’s Brighter Beginnings workshops for parents of young children aged 0-5 diagnosed with a disability or additional need, or whose development is causing concern. Our methodology involved:

  • Quantitative and qualitative research with parents before and immediately after the programme of workshops.
  • To understand longer term impact, we followed up a tracked cohort of parents eight weeks after the last session.
  • To understand the difference made by the workshops we conducted research with a comparison group who had not attended the workshops.

Our evaluation revealed that Contact’s early years workshops have a positive practical influence on parents. On average, those who attend the workshops go on to access more support services, use more childcare provision, and receive more financial benefits than those who do not. It is clear from qualitative feedback that many parents attribute attending the workshops with feeling more supported, confident and more “in control” and 94% agree that the workshops have made a positive difference to them and their family.

“Working with Fiveways was a very positive experience. They are approachable and pragmatic, very thorough, and were flexible in their approach to respond to our needs. They understood the issues and constraints we were facing, have very good people skills, and were open to working with us on finding the best solution.

The final report looks good, is clear and well written, and answers the research questions we had set out. We would recommend Fiveways (and have!).”

– Silvia Laraia, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, Contact

The full evaluation report and an Executive Summary can be found here