About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

What is Nesta supporting South London and Maudsley NHS Trust to do?

Nesta is supporting the Centre for Parent and Child Support at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLAM) with £249,889 funding to scale the Empowering Parents, Empowering Communities programme to 16 new hubs across the country.

Through the Early Years Social Action Fund, over 250 new volunteers will be mobilised, supporting over 1,000 families across the course of the fund. SLAM will also explore how best to scale the programme; ensuring that the culture that helps create impact, is replicated across all new sites. The Trust will then confirm whether the same impact can be achieved in piloting a volunteer-led model of EPEC’s approach.

What is the Center for Parent and Child Support, SLAM?

The Center for Parent and Child Support, at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, develops evidence-based approaches to supporting parents and children to prevent and manage emotional, social and behavioural difficulties. The Center was founded in 2001 and has close links with King’s College London through the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, as well as academic, health, social care and early years organisations in the UK, Europe and Australasia.

What is the programme that will be scaled?

Empowering Parents Empowering Communities (EPEC) is a community based programme that trains and supervises local parents to lead parents’ groups in schools and children’s centres. It is a manualised, structured, parenting programme designed to promote warm, nurturant and effective parenting; helping families with children who have emerging or persistent social or emotional behavioural problems.

EPEC combines peer-led parenting groups with training, organisational support and supervision, provided by specialists in child development, well-being and parenting. It is specifically designed to improve the scale, access and effectiveness of parenting support available to local families who live in socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

Trained parent facilitators deliver eight, two hour structured group sessions, in accessible community settings within socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The content is focussed on improving parent-child communication, understanding children’s feelings and behaviour, and effective strategies to promote children’s positive behaviour and development. Group leader training, accreditation, licensing and quality assurance is provided by the specialist EPEC team.

Parent group leaders are recruited from the neighbourhoods and communities where the parent course is offered, and make fundamental contributions to developing the contents and method of the EPEC course structure and delivery. Parent group leaders advise on cultural adaptation and have led the translation of material to meet the cultural and language needs of specific communities.  

Ambitions for the Early Years Savers Support Fund

The fund offers an exciting opportunity to expand the scale and reach of EPEC to 16 new socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods and excluded communities in England. In collaboration with local partners, an EPEC Hub will be set up in each neighbourhood that will recruit, train and support 16 local parent group leaders to deliver at least 10 EPEC groups for local parents who have children aged0-4years.  

EPEC has a proven research and practice track record in successfully engaging parents and improving parenting, parent well-being and confidence, family social capital and child outcomes.  

How this opportunity relates to wider Centre for Parent and Child Support/ SLAM goals

The Centre for Parent and Child Support carefully develops and disseminates evidence based interventions and programmes designed to transform the lives of children and families. The fund will enable the Centre to expand the national reach of EPEC’s innovative, effective and popular parenting programme, making it available to many more children and families. The Centre will gain invaluable experience and expertise in taking EPEC to scale, informing and sustaining its continuing success.