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Evaluation of the For Our Children’s Sake intervention, parental support in prison to influence positive parenting: study protocol for a controlled trial
  1. Asa Norman,
  2. Pia Enebrink
  1. Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Asa Norman; asa.norman{at}


Introduction Children of incarcerated parents comprise a greatly disadvantaged group in society and positive parenting constitutes an important factor for children’s healthy development. Internationally developed parenting interventions for incarcerated parents suggest an impact on parenting outcomes, but no such evaluation has been undertaken in Sweden.

This study aims to investigate the effects of the parenting programme currently offered in prisons in Sweden, For Our Children’s Sake (FOCS), through a controlled trial with a parallel implementation process evaluation.

Methods and analysis The effectiveness trial is carried out as a non-blinded controlled trial with a parallel investigation of the implementation process using mixed methods. Participants comprise incarcerated parents (men and women) in Swedish prisons with a target sample size of 76 parents. Eligible parents have a child aged 0 to 18 years, no prohibition to contact or committed a crime against the child, or a violent crime against the other parent. The FOCS intervention is carried out in group format over 10 weeks. The primary outcome is closeness in parent-child relationship measured with the Child Parent Relationship Scale. Secondary outcomes comprise parent-child contact, parental criminal attitude and interest in other treatment programmes. Mediators comprise attitude to parenting, and self-efficacy. Outcome data are self-reported and collected over four time points: baseline (September to December 2019), mid and after intervention, and at 3 months follow-up. Implementation data is collected during and after intervention. Intervention fidelity is monitored through audio recordings, dose is registered per participant, reach comprise included versus eligible number of parents and acceptability is investigated through semi-structured interviews. Factors influencing implementation will be investigated using a questionnaire.

Ethics and dissemination Ethical permission has been obtained by the Swedish Ethical Review Authority 2019–04227. Findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at scientific conferences and presented to participants in writing.

Trial registration number NCT04101799; Pre-results.

  • preventive medicine
  • child protection
  • community child health
  • adult psychiatry
  • forensic psychiatry
  • social medicine

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  • Contributors ÅN and PE conceived the study design and methods. ÅN drafted the manuscript and both authors have approved the final version.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Solstickan Foundation and the Sven Jerring Foundation.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, conduct, reporting or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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