Background: There is a need to build the evidence base of early interventions promoting children's health and development in the UK. Malachi Specialist Family Support Services ('Malachi') is a voluntary sector organisation based in the UK that delivers a therapeutic parenting group programme called Inspiring Futures to parents of children identified as having behavioural and emotional difficulties. The programme comprises two parts, delivered sequentially: (1) a group-based programme for all parents for 10-12 weeks, and (2) one-to-one sessions with selected parents from the group-based element for up to 12 weeks. Methods/design: A randomised controlled trial will be conducted to evaluate Malachi's Inspiring Futures parenting programme. Participants will be allocated to one of two possible arms, with follow-up measures at 16 weeks (post-parent group programme) and at 32 weeks (post-one-to-one sessions with selected parents). The sample size is 248 participants with a randomisation allocation ratio of 1:1. The intervention arm will be offered the Inspiring Futures programme. The control group will receive services as usual. The aim is to determine the effectiveness of the Inspiring Futures programme on the primary outcome of behavioural and emotional difficulties of primary school children identified as having behavioural or emotional difficulties. Discussion: This study will further enhance the evidence for early intervention parenting programmes for child behavioural and emotional problems in the UK.

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BMC Psychology

Axford, N. (Nick), Warner, G. (Georgina), Hobbs, T. (Tim), Heilmann, S., Raja, A. (Anam), Berry, V. (Vashti), … Bjornstad, G. (Gretchen). (2018). The effectiveness of the Inspiring Futures parenting programme in improving behavioural and emotional outcomes in primary school children with behavioural or emotional difficulties. BMC Psychology, 6(1). doi:10.1186/s40359-018-0214-7