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Helping couples and families strengthen their relationships has been the guiding mission of Tavistock Relationships for over 65 years. Tavistock Relationships asked Pro Bono Economics to undertake an economic evaluation of one of their free programmes, Parents as Partners (PAP), to better understand its value for money.

The Parents as Partners (PAP) programme is a group-based approach to strengthening couple relationships, with a focus on encouraging parents’ involvement with family life.

Dr. Allan Little, a volunteer with PBE, estimated a social return on investment of around £3.50 for every £1 spent (as a central assumption), or as much as £7 per £1 spent under a best case scenario, across three programme outcomes (reduced levels of clinical depression, improved child conduct and behaviour and reduced risk of domestic violence).

Crucially, the social return could well be higher if other beneficial impacts of the programme could be valued in monetary terms (such as improved relationship quality, reductions in parenting stress and the reduced risk of child abuse and neglect).
Follow-up evaluations of parents’ wellbeing conducted by Tavistock Relationships (one year after beginning the programme and six months after the group-work ended) shows that reductions in domestic violence and in children’s emotional and behavioural difficulties continue after the programme comes to a close, suggesting lasting benefits of PAP.

We’d like to thank Dr. Allan Little for working on this project independently from start to finish, as well as offer our congratulations for his recognition from the GES John Hoy Award for this report.

2nd May 2016