About the programme

Parent carers face increased risks of mental and physical health problems. They often prioritise the health and wellbeing of their children and their caregiving responsibilities, sometimes to the neglect of their own needs.

Many parent carers don’t feel empowered to look after their own health. They may feel too tired or stressed to engage in healthy behaviours, or feel guilty about taking time for themselves. However, poor health of parent carers can have negative consequences on their wellbeing and on their children and families.

The Healthy Parent Carers programme aims to improve health and wellbeing among parents of children with additional needs and disabilities through:

  • Promoting greater empowerment, resilience and confidence of parent carers;
  • Taking small steps that are associated with better health and wellbeing;
  • Encouraging setting achievable goals and taking a problem-solving approach.

The programme has been developed to be delivered as a face to face Group programme, which involves a series of daytime or evening weekly group sessions. The sessions are delivered by two trained facilitators who are parent carers themselves.

An Online version of the programme has also been developed meaning we can reach parent carers unable to attend a group in person.

The Healthy Parent Carers programme was inspired by and developed together with parent carers from the Family Faculty in the Peninsula Childhood Disability Research Unit (PenCRU) based in the University of Exeter Medical School. You can find out more about the development of the Healthy Parent Carers here.