Working together to support disabled parents
Template of a local, joint-working protocol - Evaluation and review of the protocol
Protocols will need to be evaluated and reviewed, not only in the first stages of implementation but continuously so that changes in the legislative and organisational contexts are reflected, as is experience of how best to support families affected by parental disability.
The purpose of the protocol is to deliver better outcomes for parents and children. Ideally there should be some basis for comparing the outcomes achieved prior to the adoption of the protocol with the outcomes following implementation. Even if this is not the case, it will be important to ensure that monitoring is carried out once the protocol is implemented. In fact monitoring will assist authorities to comply with their Disability Equality Duty.
Monitoring will require agreement between different agencies and services on:
- definitions of disabled parents and those with additional needs
- what information is to be gathered
- how information is to be gathered
- who will be responsible for analysing the data.
Existing monitoring systems may be adequate to collect the data necessary to measure outcomes for parents and their children or they may need minor adjustments to collect data relating specifically to this group of parents. However, it may be the case that existing monitoring systems within adults’ services do not enable the identification of outcomes for service users who are parents; and within children’s services monitoring systems may not identify parental disability or additional support needs when measuring outcomes for children. Such gaps in information will need to be addressed to enable the effectiveness of the protocol to be reviewed.
It may be that existing monitoring systems will not yield the information needed to assess the effectiveness of the protocol and that they cannot easily be adjusted. In such cases, specific evaluation of the operation of the protocol may be necessary. Even if data are available, the advantage of carrying out an evaluation, rather than just relying on quantitative data, is that qualitative data can be gathered on the views and experience of parents and children and those of different agencies and professions, including those practitioners responsible for implementing the protocol.
It is good practice to specify when the protocol will be reviewed. A review should:
- use monitoring data and evaluation
- consult with parents, children and staff, including those from other agencies who are in contact with parents and children.
A review should assess:
- the extent to which the protocol has been implemented
- whether the outcomes of the protocol have been delivered, from the point of view offamilies and practitioners
- any barriers to joint working.
The protocol should specify who will be responsible for carrying out this review and how it will be resourced.