Working with Parents of Young People
Release Date:01 Dec 2006

Working with Parents of Young People

Research, Policy and Practice

Edited by Debi Roker and John Coleman
Jessica Kingsley Publishers

This book provides practical guidance for a wide range of professionals working with parents and families, answering common questions such as 'How can parents facilitate their child's transition to secondary school?' and 'How can families best communicate about alcohol?'.

Drawing on the findings from years of applied research projects carried out by the Trust for the Study of Adolescence, each chapter focuses on a particular area of parenting young people - from monitoring and supervision to support for foster families - and each highlights the implications of research results for policy and practice. This book presents a range of approaches to working with parents and families, and discusses the effectiveness of techniques such as parent mentoring and involving young people in parenting programmes.

Working with Parents of Young People provides a strong set of evidence-based guidelines for best practice and will be a key resource for all those working to support the parents of teenagers.

'I would refer to this text when considering how best to support parents of adolescents in any setting, but most of all it is useful for advising on partnership working with schools. The Book will no doubt help workers to avoid pitfalls, improve and share practice and, ultimately, secure better outcomes for parents, teenagers, families, schools and communities

– Children & Young People Now

The text reports findings from new research about the parents of young people and new ways of working with parents. It offers a wide range of professionals working with parents and families a range of approaches to conducting such work, and discusses the effectiveness of techniques such as parent mentoring and involving young people in parentiing programs.


The book draws from many years of fascinating research projects carried out by the Trust, and offers clear insight into their findings. Divided into four parts the book offers guidelines, particularly for professionals working with parents and families, of best practice in various areas of working with parents of young people... The editors concede that what might be a good idea on paper may not be as simple as it might first appear, and for this reason their research is invaluable to anyone about to embark, or currently reviewing their strategy or policy, on working with families. After reading this book I have become interested in the Trust for the Study of Adolescence and can see that their research is of huge importance and value to our modern day society. Hats off to them.


The field of parenting is at an exciting stage of growth and development... This will be an interesting and useful book to those working with both parents and young people.

– Professional Social Work

This is an interesting book for any practitioner or student seeking an overview of current debates about parenting young people and of initiatives undertaken by the TSA in this field. For any professional contemplating providing a service for parents of young people this is a useful and informative starting point.

– Journal of Children's Services

The first part looks at the latest research trends in the field, and includes chapters on monitoring and supervision techniques with parents, team parenting approaches in foster care, how to communicate to children about alcohol use, and a consideration of parents' needs during their child's transition from primary to secondary school. The second half of the book illustrates approaches that seek to work with parents facing some of these difficult challenges, and sets out some very interesting techniques, including how to engage schools in parental support, using newsletters and IT-based approaches, engaging the young people themselves in parenting programmes, and setting up parent-to-parent mentor schemes... For the child mental health professional seeking actually to apply some of these creative approaches to working with parents, it will prove an invaluable addition to the library shelf- as well as providing an up-to-date revision of the latest trends in both theory and practice.

– YoungMinds Magazine

Debi Roker is Co-Director of the Trust for the Study of Adolescence, Brighton. John Coleman founded the Trust for the Study of Adolescence in 1989, and until recently was the Trust's Director. Both are experienced researchers and writers and lecture regularly to practitioners and professionals working in the field of adolescence. They are editors of Supporting Parents of Teenagers: A Handbook for Professionals, also published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

The Trust for the Study of Adolescence (TSA) is a registered UK charity and applied research and training organisation founded in 1989 by John Coleman. Its primary commitment is to improving the lives of young people and helping people to better understand them. TSA carries out applied research, provides training for professionals, produces publications and influences policy makers, service providers and public opinion.

Preface. Acknowledgements. Part 1: Introduction. 1. Working with parents of young people: setting the scene. John Coleman and Debi Roker. Part 2: New Research and Implications for Practice. 2. How monitoring and supervision work in families: a study of 50 young people and their parents. Debi Roker and Stephanie Stace. 3. `Team Parenting' of young people in foster care. Stephanie Stace and Kevin Lowe. 4. Family communication about alcohol. Louise Cox, Nigel Sherriff, Lester Coleman and Debi Roker. 5. Children's move to secondary school: what do parents need at this time? Debi Roker, Kerry Devitt and Amanda Holt. 6. Supporting children and parents during the transition to secondary school: a UK-wide review. Debi Roker and Julie Shepherd. Part 3: New Ways of Working with Parents. 7. Working with schools to support parents: lessons from two evaluations. Debi Roker and Helen Richardson Foster. 8. Using newsletters to support the parents of young people: learning from two studies. Debi Roker and Julie Shepherd. 9. Getting information and support from websites. Debi Roker. 10. Involving young people in parenting programmes. Cris Hoskin and Sarah Lindfield. 11. Using parent-to-parent mentors to get information and support to the parents of young people. Debi Roker. Part 4: Conclusions. 12. Parenting young people: research, policy and practice. Debi Roker and John Coleman. Subject Index. Author Index.
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