The HOPE Programme
Coventry City Council
Coventry Carers Centre
There is a recognised need to provide parent caregivers of children with ASD and ADHD with specialised support and coping skills training. A lack of social support can lead parent caregivers to withdraw and become socially isolated because of the negative characteristics they associate with their child’s disability, which in turn exacerbates their stress level. However, few coping skills interventions exist for parent caregivers of children with ADHD/ASD. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a group-based HOPE self-management programme to meet this need.
Over 200 parents in Coventry and Warwickshire have attended the HOPE Course. The research findings are extremely encouraging, as they indicate that participants attending the HOPE programme report significant and large improvements in positive psychological outcomes (e.g. hope, gratitude, positive mental wellbeing), as well as reducing psychological distress (depression and anxiety).
Participants described how being in a positive and encouraging environment and achieving personal goals were helpful. Participants rated the delivery of the HOPE highly. HOPE for parent caregivers is innovative, as to our knowledge it is the only peer led self-management programme available to parent caregivers of children with ADHD/ASD. Due to its popularity and effectiveness, Coventry Carers Centre now offer HOPE as a routine part of their services for parents. Referrals to HOPE are made via schools, social services, and CAMHS. Below is a typical comment from a parent who has completed HOPE.
“I believe I have learned something from everyone, including how to be more positive and set goals to achieve more. We have enjoyed a lot of laughter and some sadness. To meet others with similar issues to mine has been a good thing.”