The Case for Assessing and Reporting on Facilitator Fidelity: Introducing the Fidelity of Implementation in Parenting Programs Guideline

Authors:  Mackenzie Martin, Yulia Shenderovich, E. B. Caron, Justin D. Smith, Godfrey Siu & Susan M. Breitenstein


The sizeable body of evidence indicating that parenting programs have a positive impact on children and families highlights the potential public health benefits of their implementation on a large scale. Despite evidence and global attention, beyond the highly controlled delivery of parenting programs via randomized trials, little is known about program effectiveness or how to explain the poorer results commonly observed when implemented in community settings. Researchers, practitioners, and policymakers must work together to identify what is needed to spur adoption and sustainment of evidence-based parenting programs in real-world service systems and how to enhance program effectiveness when delivered via these systems. Collecting, analyzing, and using facilitator fidelity data is an important frontier through which researchers and practitioners can contribute. In this commentary, we outline the value of assessing facilitator fidelity and utilizing the data generated from these assessments; describe gaps in research, knowledge, and practice; and recommend directions for research and practice. In making recommendations, we describe a collaborative process to develop a preliminary guideline—the Fidelity of Implementation in Parenting Programs Guideline or FIPP—to use when reporting on facilitator fidelity. Readers are invited to complete an online survey to provide comments and feedback on the first draft of the guideline.

Readers are encouraged to contribute to the FIPP reporting guideline by offering their feedback here.

Keywords: Implementation, Fidelity, Parenting, Reporting, Scale, Commentary