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Parents Under Pressure

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What is Parents Under Pressure?

Parents under Pressure is a twenty-week home-visiting support programme for parents who are drug and/or alcohol dependent and have a child under two and a half years of age.


Many babies in the UK are born to drug-dependent parents. Dependence on psychoactive drugs during the postnatal period is associated with high rates of child maltreatment. One quarter of these children become subject to a child protection plan.

Parents who are dependent on psychoactive drugs are at risk of a wide range of parenting problems; studies have found reduced sensitivity and responsiveness to both the infant’s physical and emotional needs. The poor outcomes that are associated with such drug-dependency appear to be linked to the multiple difficulties experienced by such parents.

The Study

The Parents Under Pressure™ (PuP) programme is a twenty week home-visiting service designed for families in which there are many difficult life circumstances that impact on parenting capacity and family functioning.


The delivery and evaluation of the PuP study is being funded by the NSPCC, and the evaluation is being conducted by a research team at the University of Warwick.

PuP is being provided at 11 NSPCC Service Centres. Data will be collected from all participants to assess the impact of the programme. In addition, six service centres are taking part in a randomised controlled trial (RCT), which will involve additional data being collected by researchers.


Dawn Cannon (



Information for Families
FAQs for Families


PuP Practitioners

Information for PuP Practitioners
PuP Forum


Service Evaluation Sites

Coventry, Croydon, Ipswich, Swindon, York

Information for Referring Agents
FAQs for Service Evaluation Sites


Randomised Control Trial (RCT)

Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, Nottingham, Stoke, Warrington

Information for Referring Agents
FAQs for RCT