Victoria Troy

PhD Candidate at Glasgow Caledonian University

VicTroyPicWorking Title: Parenting programmes for mothers in the criminal justice system: The facilitators and barriers to participation.

Supervisors: Dr. Kerri McPherson; Professor Liz Gilchrist; Dr. Carol Emslie


Mothers in the criminal justice system face a myriad of complex difficulties that can often put their wellbeing and their children’s wellbeing ‘at risk’. There are a number of specific interventions available aimed at alleviating the impact of associated risk factors such as, substance misuse treatment and parenting programmes. However, the accessibility and acceptability of these interventions are not fully established for parents at risk and this has been demonstrated by the low engagement and high dropout rates in programmes. The proposed study will be conducted in two stages and will include an integrated systematic review and an empirical research project which will utilise a number of qualitative methods. The systematic review will identify, describe and evaluate the current parenting programmes being delivered to mothers in the criminal justice system and will highlight perceived barriers and facilitators to engagement with these services. The empirical project will use a participatory research approach in order to understand the needs and challenges that mothers in the criminal justice system face and to explore the facilitators and barriers to engagement from the mothers’ perspectives. It is anticipated that the project will be conducted using Photovoice which is an innovative, visual methodology aimed at empowering participants to critically reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of their community. The proposed project will also employ the use of diaries and follow up focus groups in order to provide rich and detailed accounts of the participants’ experiences of being mothers in the criminal justice system. The final aim of the project will be to provide recommendations for the development and delivery of future programmes.

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