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Parenting Information Programme (PIP) Plus Evaluation

1 April 2013 - 31 March 2013

PI/s in Exeter: Professor Liz Trinder

Research partners: Caroline Bryson (BPSR)
Dr Susan Purdon (BPSR)
Dr Lester Coleman (Plus One)
Dr Catherine Houlston-One (Plus One)
Mark Peters (TNS-BMRB)

Funding awarded: £ 99,448

Sponsor(s): Department for Education

About the research

PIP Plus is a pilot intervention for parents litigating over contact and residence disputes. The intervention combines parent education, a joint meeting where a parenting plan is introduced and a mediation information meeting. The programme is an extension of a basic sPIP (Separated parents information programme, hereafter PIP) that previous evaluation had found was popular with parents and professional but had limited impact on case outcomes. The overall aim of the evaluation is to identify the added value of PIP Plus compared to the original PIP intervention (and non-PIP pathways). It will seek to:

1.    Understand the court and non-court pathways undertaken by parents attending PIP Plus, and how this compares to the experiences of comparable PIP and non-PIP cases.
2.    Measure the impact on families of PIPs on key indicators, including relitigation, shared decision-making and coparenting, compared to other court-based pathways.   
3.    Understand why PIP Plus might work better in some circumstances than others, including what parents and professionals perceive to be helpful and unhelpful about PIPs and what changes may be required.

The research design involves the following methods –
1.    A telephone survey of 250 PIP Plus parents from the three pilot areas to compare with previously collected data on pathways, impacts and processes of 300 PIP and 300 non-PIP parents.
2.    Qualitative telephone interviews with 25 PIP Plus parents to explore experiences, particularly of the PIP Plus elements and process.
3.    Focus groups with PIP deliverers to explore the nature and possible value added of PIP Plus and any changes needed in PIP.
4.    Observations of the PIP Plus referral process, PIP group and PIP Plus meeting to understand the PIP Plus process and identify what appears to work and not work about the intervention.

The evaluation will report in two stages: a report on the qualitative data and first round of quantitative data in August 2012 and a final report in October. The same multi-disciplinary team that delivered the PIP evaluation within a very tight time frame in 2011 will conduct the PIP Plus evaluation.