Shared learning database

Solihull Approach
Published date:
September 2009

Solihull Approach is a 10 week parenting group for parents with children from universal to complex needs and aged 0-18 years. It is based on the Solihull Approach model of containment, reciprocity and behaviour management and uses social learning theory in the design of the parenting programme. It is delivered by two trained professionals from a wide range of professions and agencies through joint working and following a resource manual for parents with children.

Please note that this example was originally submitted to demonstrate implementation of recommendations in NICE TA102 'Parent-Training/ Education programme in the management of children with conduct disorders'. TA102 has now been replaced by CG158. The example continues to align with guidance, particularly recommendation 1.5.1 in CG158 on Parent training programmes.

Does the example relate to a general implementation of all NICE guidance?
Does the example relate to a specific implementation of a specific piece of NICE guidance?


Aims and objectives

The Solihull Approach parenting group aims: - to create an effective parenting programme by focusing on parent-child relationships and promoting a reflective style of parenting for life long learning - to provide a parenting group that helps parents with children from 0-18 years - to promote the use of shared language between professionals - to reduce problematic behaviour in children and affect parental anxiety - to provide an evidence based parenting programme that facilitates joint working between agencies supported by a robust and cost effective training model

Reasons for implementing your project

The Solihull Approach Parenting Group was developed by a multidisciplinary working group and used the knowledge and skills of the Solihull Approach as a basis for the design of the group. It has been extensively piloted and has been evaluated. It is now being delivered across the UK and is suitable for working with families from universal need to complex need (equivalent to Common Assessment Framework levels 1-3) The group is run in a wide range of community setting. It has been run with mothers and father together and also as father's group. The group is run as part of joint working across agencies. The Solihull Approach Parenting group used evidence from research in the planning and design of the parenting group including National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guidance for Parent-training/ education programmes in the management of children with conduct disorders

How did you implement the project

Evaluation of Solihull Approach Parenting group has shown positive changes in behaviour and parental anxiety for parents attending a Solihull Approach Feedback from parents shows an increase in understanding of their child's behaviour. Comments from parents include - I'm more aware of mine and my child's feelings and I've learnt how all my children are different and how to cope with things to come. Training for Solihull Approach parenting group is now being delivered both in Solihull and other areas of the UK as part of parenting strategies. In Solihull the Solihull Approach Parenting group is being delivered as a tiered approach. It works well with other parenting groups such as Mellow Parenting which is used in Solihull for families with high levels of need (CAF level 4 - Acute needs and multiagency plan). The long term Solihull Parenting Strategy aims to run enough parenting groups in Solihull for all parents and carers. The aim is to reach 50% of parents over 10 years which will mean running 120 parenting groups per year. Solihull has a population of 200,000 with 25,500 families with dependent children. The Solihull Approach Parenting Group has been included in the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners commissioners toolkit as an evidence based parenting programme and has been commissioned as part of the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners training and Support Programme The Solihull Approach encourages a reflective approach for trainers, facilitators and parents. While the core programme has remained the same, it has lead to appropriate adaptations of the programme to meet the needs of specific groups such as fathers groups.

Key findings

Data was analysed on 72 pre and post measurements using three questionnaires. The Becks Anxiety Inventory for Adults (BAI) , the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and Child Behaviour Checklist. Results showed attendance of the Solihull Approach Parenting Group was associated with decreased externalising child behaviour (i.e. aggression, defiance) over the age of two years and a decrease in parental anxiety. In addition there was a relationship between parental anxiety and the changes in child internalising behaviour. The 22% drop out rate of parents attending the Solihull Approach Parenting Groups compares favourably with the national average of 40 per cent. Bateson,K. Delaney, J and Pybus,R.(2008) Meeting expectations: the pilot evaluation of the Solihull Approach Parenting Group. Community Practitioner, 81,28-31

Key learning points

1. Using a theoretical model to underpin thinking is extremely helpful in developing a robust parenting programme. The Solihull Approach has used the concepts of containment, reciprocity and behaviour management as the basis for developing a relationship model that focuses on providing a containing experience for parents so that they are able to calm, process emotions and have a capacity to think. This in turn enables parents to be more in tune with their child's feelings and developmental needs so that, where necessary they can use individualised, sensitive and appropriate behaviour management strategies with their children. 2. The Solihull Approach found the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guidance for Parent-training/ education programmes in the management of children with conduct disorders extremely helpful as a reference for ensuring the quality of the programme 3. The Solihull Approach has found that designing a comprehensive parenting group training programme supported by a detailed parenting group manual has facilitated consistency of delivery of both the parenting group training and running of parenting groups

Contact details

Mary Rheeston
Solihull Approach Co ordinator
Solihull Approach

Secondary care
Is the example industry-sponsored in any way?