The Challenging Behaviour Foundation and the Tizard Centre worked with colleagues leading the Transforming Care workforce strategy in Cumbria to pilot an evidence-based early intervention approach in the county. This was a new approach, not seen anywhere else in the UK.
Early Positive Approaches to Support (E-PAtS) is an 8-week programme for families raising a young child (five years and under) with a learning and/or developmental disability. It was developed by the Tizard Centre with family carers with input from other key stakeholder including CBF.
Sessions are run by 2 facilitators (one family carer and one professional) who both have experience of working with, or parenting, children with a learning and/or developmental disability.
Researchers want to run a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) to measure if E-PAtS benefits families, compared to the support that is typically available to families of young children with learning and/or developmental disabilities. Before this, it was necessary to run a feasibility study to test whether a large RCT can be done in the future (like a rehearsal for a future larger research study). The feasibility study ran from 2018 to 2020. CBF supported a family carer advisory group, to ensure all stages of the research were informed by families with relevant lived experience. We are grateful to all the family carers who took part. A summary of the project can be found here and a short video of the findings can be viewed below. The study found that an RCT would be feasible and identified lots of practical understanding about how it might work.