Event Details

PHO Webinar: The Parents Under Pressure Program: Supporting Complex Families, Improving Outcomes for Children

Improving family functioning and child outcomes in families with a multitude of problems – such as parental substance misuse, mental health problems, and parental childhood maltreatment - is essential to change an intergenerational pattern of adversity. The Parents Under Pressure (PuP) program was developed specifically for families facing multiple adversities. The two central tenets of the PuP program are focused on parental emotional regulation and the enhancement of safe and nurturing caregiving relationships within the family.

This webinar provides an overview of the underlying PuP program logic, introduces the construct of case conceptualization to develop individualised therapeutic family support plans and provides a brief overview of research evidence supporting the PuP program and the underlying therapeutic mechanism of change.

Intended audience: Government professionals and policy makers involved in parenting or drug and alcohol programs, practitioners involved in statutory child protection and/or who work in family support.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify key elements of complex families that can be targeted in the family support plan.
  • Understand how an ecological model is critical for complex families.
  • Determine the role of substance use in parenting.
  • Understand the program logic of the PuP program.

Presenter(s): Sharon Dawe and Jenny Carpenter

Professor Sharon Dawe, BA MA (Hons) PhD, is a clinical psychologist and academic. Her clinical work focuses on supporting the development of young children and toddlers by supporting parents and carers to provide a safe and nurturing environment. She is the co-developer of the Parents Under Pressure program (www.pupprogram.net.au), designed for complex families that includes parental substance misuse.

Jenny Carpenter, BA (Oxon) MSW, is a social worker with extensive experience in provision of family support to families with parental substance misuse. She has been training practitioners in the PuP program for over 10 years.


The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or capacitybuilding@oahpp.ca.

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Capacity Building


Updated 28 Sep 2022