Community and Connection

Empowering Parents Empowering Communities (EPEC)

A parenting programme transforming family relationships, developed by parenting specialists at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, academics at Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London and co-produced with parents themselves. 

Empowering Parents Empowering Communities (EPEC) is a leading Maudsley Charity funded parenting programme which takes place in over 30 sites in the UK and internationally. Parents learn a range of positive parenting skills to better understand children’s feelings, to value effective parent-child communication and build better, more resilient family relationships. The approach is designed to increase access to effective care, particularly for families in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and excluded communities.    

EPEC has been developed by parenting specialists at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), academics at Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London and co-produced with parents themselves. 

Dr Crispin Day, Head, EPEC, SLaM/King’s College, London said:

“Empowering Parents Empowering Communities is about improving children’s mental health, supporting parents and transforming family life.”

Local hubs and training

Local hubs with specialist facilitators who have completed EPEC training provide the courses for parents, who receive ongoing training, supervision and support.  

The course sessions are very interactive, offering an engaging and creative blend of small and large group discussions, role play, demonstrations, information sharing and reflection.  Parents practice and use their new skills in everyday life to achieve specific goals 

The programmes are aimed to help parents of children of a wide range of ages, from 0 to teenage years. There are strands that focus on empowering socially disadvantages families in the community, as well as specialist approaches for children who affected by autism and ADHD. 

Living with Teenagers

In 2011-12, Maudsley Charity funded the development and evaluation of Living with Teenagers, for parents of children aged 12 – 16 years old. The grant enabled EPEC to trial the programme and collect evidence about its effectiveness and outcomes, as well as the uptake in socially disadvantaged areas.

Since then, Living with Teenagers has become an established part of EPEC’s offer, with many parents and families benefitting across the south London boroughs served by SLaM.

“I found this course really useful as my relationship with my son had been noticeably changing as he has hit the teenage years.

I have learnt new strategies specific to teenagers which have helped improve my relationship with my son.”

Parent taking part in Living With Teenagers

National and international reach

Developed in south London, EPEC has an extensive national and international programme. The team works with organisations across the UK to set up new Hubs, as well as advising local authorities, NHS Trusts and NGOs on how they can deliver its programmes to local parents and families.   

Lionel Herzov Memorial Award

In 2020, EPEC won the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Lionel Herzov Memorial Award. This prestigious prize is presented to clinical academic groups who are leading the translation of scientific evidence into clinical practice. 

Brigid Bose, Parent Group Leader, EPEC South London said:

“When we’re delivering the programme, we can feel the energy change in the room as parents feel supported to make positive changes in their family relationships. We know our evidence based approach works, and that’s down to the parents who share their journeys with us.”

Looking for more on EPEC?

Read more on EPEC on the Centre for Parent and Child Support website.