We are inviting family carers of a child with a learning disability, autism, or both aged 8-13 years to take part in a study of a new online programme, Positive Family Connections.
The programme aims to enhance family relationships and wellbeing in families of a child with a developmental disability. Positive Family Connections is funded by Cerebra and has been co-produced by family carers and researchers at the University of Warwick. You can read more about the co-production of Positive Family Connections here.
The programme involves six online sessions facilitated by two trained family carers with groups of adults from 6-8 families. From each family, one or two adults can take part in Positive Family Connections. The sessions involve group discussion and activities to equip participants with new knowledge and skills to apply in their relationships and build friendships with other families.
This study will help us to learn whether Positive Family Connections benefits families and will help us to plan a larger study of Positive Family Connections in the future.
Here are some quotes from people who have taken part in Positive Family Connections during its development:
“It’s made such a difference to our family and my overall outlook on being a parent carer. It’s been such a positive experience for me.”
“Absolutely loved the course & really benefitted from it”
Who can take part?
One or two people from each family can take part. One person must be the primary parental carer of a child with a developmental disability (learning disability, autism). By primary parental carer, we mean the person who the child lives with most of the time and who is the main person providing care. Primary parental carers can attend Positive Family Connections on their own. However, they can also bring a second adult along who they consider to be a part of their family (e.g. a family relative such as a partner, a close friend, neighbour, support worker).
As well as this:
- The child with a developmental disability must be aged 8-13.
- The child with a developmental disability must have a diagnosis of a learning disability, autism, or both and/or be in receipt of services for children with a learning disability or autism.
- The adult or both adults taking part must be aged 18 or older.
- The primary parental carer must not currently be receiving individual or group therapy or be completing a parenting programme.
- There must be no current safeguarding or child protection concerns relating to any member of your family.
- You must not feel that your family are in crisis and urgently in need of support.
You would also need to be able to attend one of the following online Positive Family Connections groups:
- Tuesdays 11am-1pm from 3rd May 2022 for 6 weeks
- Tuesdays 6pm-8pm from 3rd May 2022 for 6 weeks
- Wednesdays 7pm-9pm from 8th June 2022 for 6 weeks
- Thursdays 12pm-2pm from 9th June 2022 for 6 weeks
What does taking part involve?
First, the primary parental carer would meet with a researcher to discuss whether they are eligible to take part. If they are eligible, the primary parental carer and – if applicable – the second adult would then complete a survey about their family, wellbeing, and the child with a developmental disability.
Afterwards, you will be randomly selected to either take part in the Positive Family Connections programme in May/June this year, or to be invited to take part in Spring/early summer 2023. You will have an equal chance of being placed in either the 2022 or 2023 groups, and all participants will be asked to complete a survey again 4 and 9 months later.
To take part in the study, the primary parental carer must be willing to take part in the Positive Family Connections programme. However, if there is a second adult they may choose whether to take part in the Positive Family Connections as well, or to take part by just completing the surveys.
Each research participant can receive up to £50 in Love2Shop vouchers by taking part in the study. You would be sent a £15 voucher for completing the survey 4 months after random selection, a £25 voucher if you complete the third survey after 9 months, and an additional bonus £10 voucher if you complete both the 4 and 9 month surveys.
How can I find out more?
If you would like to take part in the Positive Family Connections study or would like to find out more, the primary parental carer can access an information sheet and consent form here. Any second participant you identify will be invited to take part in the study later. If you have any questions you would like to discuss, please contact [email protected] or phone 07392125603.