Jebbett, Lorraine Marcia (2011)
Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
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Increasingly, Educational Psychology Services are opening their provision to parents in community settings such Children’s Centres (Davis et al 2008), but, there has been little research regarding what parents want from this provision. Eleven parents who attended a Children’s Centre in the West Midlands, participated in semi-structured interviews (including sort card activities) designed to explore what they wanted from the opportunity to meet directly with an Educational Psychologist (EP). Transcripts of interviews were subjected to thematic analysis. Many parents reported wanting support at a community and personal level, (relating to a range of difficulties e.g. behaviour) and appeared to view difficulties that a child experiences as being ‘down to’ parenting skills. Parent’s therefore reported feelings of shame and embarrassment and wanted an EP to help build confidence in their parenting skills and to provide advice, information, techniques and direction. Parents valued EPs’ training, knowledge and experience and wanted this to be utilised to offer a unique/different perspective and to help them better understand their child. A solution focused consultation approach appears to be most aligned to what parents want. The findings also showed that some parents did not know what an EP does and equated EP work with psychiatry. EPs therefore need to advertise their role and to be approachable and accessible.
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