Parent peer models for families of children with mental health problems
Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland AG; Switzerland, 2021
Evaluation of a Web-Based Training Model for Family Peer Advocates in Children's Mental Health
OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:The aim of this study was to compare knowledge gains from a new online training program with gains from an existing in-person training program for family peer advocates. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:Data were used from a pre-post study of individuals who enrolled in the Web-based Parent Empowerment Program training; 144 participants completed the training and pre-post tests, and 140 were admitted to the analyses. Knowledge was assessed with 34 questions, 29 of which were common to the online and in-person trainings. Pre-post knowledge scores were available from the in-person training. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:Statistically significant gains in knowledge were found with both the 34 questions and the 29 questions common to both trainings. Knowledge gains across the two training models did not differ. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:Data on knowledge gains from this accessible, affordable online model show promise for training the growing and important workforce of family peer advocates.
A Response to Proposed Budget Cuts Affecting Children's Mental Health: Protecting Policies and Programs That Promote Collective Efficacy
Children stand to lose if the federal government follows through on threats to cut funding for critical safety-net programs that have long supported families and communities. Although cuts directly targeting children's mental health are a great concern, cuts to policies that support health, housing, education, and family income are equally disturbing. These less publicized proposed cuts affect children indirectly, but they have direct effects on their families and communities. The importance of these services is supported by an extensive body of social learning research that promotes collective efficacy-neighbors positively influencing each other-shown to have positive long-term effects on children's development and adult outcomes. In this article, the authors describe two federal programs that by virtue of their impact on families and communities are likely to promote collective efficacy and positively affect children's mental health; both programs are facing severe cutbacks. They suggest that states adopt a cross-system approach to promote policies and programs in general medical health, mental health, housing, education, welfare and social services, and juvenile justice systems as a viable strategy to strengthen families and communities and promote collective efficacy. The overall goal is to advance a comprehensive national mental health policy for children that enhances collaboration across systems and strengthens families and communities, which is especially critical for children living in marginalized communities.
Evaluation of a Train-The-Trainers Model for Family Peer Advocates in Children's Mental Health
Standardized training and credentialing is increasingly important to states and healthcare systems. Workforce shortages in children's mental health can be addressed through training and credentialing of professional peer parents (called family peer advocates or FPAs), who deliver a range of services to caregivers. A theory-based training program for FPAs targeting skills and knowledge about childhood mental health services (Parent Empowerment Program, or PEP) was developed through a partnership among a statewide family-run organization, state policy leaders, and academic researchers. Prior studies by this team using highly-experienced family peer advocates (who were also co-developers of the training program) as trainers found improvements in knowledge about mental health services and self-efficacy. In 2010, to meet demands and scale the model, a training of trainers (TOT) model was developed to build a cohort of locally-trained FPAs to deliver PEP training. A pre/post design was used to evaluate the impact of TOT model on knowledge and self-efficacy among 318 FPAs across the state. Participants showed significant pre-post (6 month) changes in knowledge about mental health services and self-efficacy. There were no significant associations between any FPA demographic characteristics and their knowledge or self-efficacy scores. A theory-based training model for professional peer parents working in the children's mental health system can be taught to local FPAs, and it improves knowledge about the mental health system and self-efficacy. Studies that evaluate the effectiveness of different training modalities are critical to ensure that high-quality trainings are maintained.
Developing quality indicators for family support services in community team-based mental health care
Quality indicators for programs integrating parent-delivered family support services for children's mental health have not been systematically developed. Increasing emphasis on accountability under the Affordable Care Act highlights the importance of quality-benchmarking efforts. Using a modified Delphi approach, quality indicators were developed for both program level and family support specialist level practices. These indicators were pilot tested with 21 community-based mental health programs. Psychometric properties of these indicators are reported; variations in program and family support specialist performance suggest the utility of these indicators as tools to guide policies and practices in organizations that integrate parent-delivered family support service components.
Scaling up Evidence-Based Practices for Children and Families in New York State: Toward Evidence-Based Policies on Implementation for State Mental Health Systems
Dissemination of innovations is widely considered the sine qua non for system improvement. At least two dozen states are rolling out evidence-based mental health practices targeted at children and families using trainings, consultations, webinars, and learning collaboratives to improve quality and outcomes. In New York State (NYS) a group of researchers, policymakers, providers, and family support specialists have worked in partnership since 2002 to redesign and evaluate the children's mental health system. Five system strategies driven by empirically based practices and organized within a state-supported infrastructure have been used in the child and family service system with more than 2,000 providers: (a) business practices, (b) use of health information technologies in quality improvement, (c) specific clinical interventions targeted at common childhood disorders, (d) parent activation, and (e) quality indicator development. The NYS system has provided a laboratory for naturalistic experiments. We describe these initiatives, key findings and challenges, lessons learned for scaling, and implications for creating evidence-based implementation policies in state systems.
The Building Bridges Initiative: residential and community-based providers, families, and youth coming together to improve outcomes
The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) provides a framework for achieving positive outcomes for youth and families served in residential and community programs. Founded on core principles, an emerging evidence base, and acknowledged best practices, the BBI emphasizes collaboration and coordination between providers, families, youth, advocates, and policymakers to achieve its aims. Examples are presented of successful state, community, and provider practice changes, and available tools and resources to support all constituencies in achieving positive outcomes.
An experimental study of the effectiveness of intensive in-home crisis services for children and their families: Program outcomes
In this article, we describe the outcomes associated with a 3-year research demonstration project. It is the second of a two-part article concerned with this research conducted in the Bronx, New York, to examine the efficacy of three models of intensive in-home services-Home-Based Crisis Intervention (HBCI), Enhanced Home-Based Crisis Intervention (HBCI+),and Crisis Case Management-as alternatives to hospitalization for children experiencing a psychiatric crisis. In Part I (Evans, Boothroyd, & Armstrong, 1997), we described the features of the three program models, the research design, data collection measures, and the presenting characteristics of the children and families. In Part 2, we describe the success of maintaining children at home (82%) and the increases in family adaptability, children's self-concept, and parental self-efficacy both at discharge and at 6 months postdischarge. Enrollees in two of the models (HBCI and HBCI+) experienced a significant increase in family cohesion, although this was not maintained at 6 months postdischarge. While enrollees in the enhanced program showed significant increase in social support at discharge, all enrollees experienced this at 6 months postdischarge.
Outcomes associated with clinical profiles of children in psychiatric crisis enrolled in intensive, in-home interventions
Little is known about the characteristics of children and youth presenting at emergency settings in psychiatric crisis, and virtually nothing is known about their outcomes. The purpose of this study is to describe the clinical profiles of 238 children presenting at two psychiatric emergency settings and enrolled in a randomized controlled trial of three intensive in-home interventions. A second purpose is to examine child mental health outcomes, based on clinical profile and to suggest the utility of using a clinical-profiles approach.
Addressing children's exposure to violence in a short-term crisis intervention program