The Parenting Research Group focuses on promoting parenting and parenting self-efficacy through the use of health visiting and children’s centre services delivered in the home and community settings.
Our work aims to develop an understanding of how parenting support programmes work and the development of the service systems which can provide sufficiently seamless health and social care services relevant to different parent and family situations.
We have been working closely with Kings College and colleagues in the National Nursing Research Unit (NNRU) involved in leading the health visitor Policy Research Programme, commissioned to support the Department of Health (2011) Call for Action.
Our team of researchers and doctoral students focuses on:
Through our reputation for undertaking high quality research work, developing a high profile within the practice setting and our strong networks we are able to influence practice for example:
Our research is directly fed into teaching content for a range of modules. These include:
Dr Karen Whittaker: Senior Lecturer
Karen has recently been working with a team of researchers at King’s College, London, in the National Nursing Research Unit (NNRU) to contribute to a programme of health visitor research. She completed her doctoral study at King’s College, supported by a DH Research Training Fellowship Award. Her thesis was a realistic evaluation of how experience the process of formal parenting support. With a professional background in health visiting she continues to research the topic of parenting and the ways in which services can be designed to support family needs.
Professor Bernie Carter: Professor of Children’s Nursing
Bernie has been based at the University of Central Lancashire since 2000. Bernie is Professor of Children’s Nursing at the University of Central Lancashire and Director of the Children’s Nursing Research Unit (CNRU) at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing. She is Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University and Clinical Professor at the University of Tasmania
We have links with colleagues in the School of Social Work, UCLan (examining parents’ experience of family support in the community) and the School of Computing, Engineering & Physical Sciences, UCLan (developing an interactive DVD for parents and adolescents).
We have links with the NNRU research team delivering a programme of health visitor research aligned to the England, Department of Health (2011) Health Visitor Implementation plan.
We along with practice colleagues we have been working with Professor Lynn Kemp, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, to explore the feasibility of implementing and testing the Maternal and Early Childhood Sustained Home visiting (MECSH) programme as part of health visitor provision in the UK.
For further information contact:
Dr Karen Whittaker
School of Health
University of Central Lancashire
Preston PR1 2HE
Key links to:
Whittaker has recently been working with Maben et al. at King’s College, on a review of evidence for health visiting practice and an empirical study of health visitor recruitment and retention. Start and Stay: the recruitment and retention of health visitors. The first report is now published and available as follows:
Cowley S, Whittaker K A, Grigulis A, Malone M, Donetto S, Wood H, Morrow E, Maben J (2013) Why Health Visiting? A review of the literature about key health visitor interventions, processes and outcomes for children and families. Department of Health Policy Research Programme. King's College, London: National Nursing Research Unit.
Selected completed projects: