The impact of immersive video on a parenting programme for adoptive parents, foster carers, and special guardians

Rebecca M. Lucas, Paul Dickerson, John Rae, Andreea Tudor, Cecilia Essau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Training programmes for the carers of adopted and looked after children have mixed efficacy, and the beneficial effects of their specific components are unclear. This article seeks to address this deficiency by assessing the impact of a parenting training programme distinguished by the inclusion of immersive videos. Eleven adoptive parents, seven foster carers and four special guardians participated. A mixed methods approach comprising questionnaires and interviews was utilised with data collected before, during and after training. Overall satisfaction with the training and trainers was high, and participants reported increased understanding and greater empathy regarding children’s early-life trauma and neglect (ELTN), plus enhanced competence and confidence in addressing any associated behavioural challenges. Qualitative analysis revealed differences in trainees’ responses according to the extent of their carer experience, with those relatively new to the work appreciating open-ended discussion and more experienced carers preferring discourse and role play that focused on the issues important to them. All participants valued the immersive videos, especially one that gave a toddler’s visual point of view in an environment where he was alternately shouted at and neglected. The study concluded that training programmes that include immersive videos can improve parenting knowledge and skills and that future research should examine their impact on child outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-246
Number of pages20
JournalAdoption and Fostering
Issue number3
Early online date14 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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