Parent Connectors

Mental Health In-home Parent Skill-Based Does Not Currently Meet Criteria

Parent Connectors is a peer support program for parents of children with emotional or behavioral challenges. Parents are matched with “Parent Connectors” (PCs) who are trained program staff who also have children receiving services for emotional or behavioral challenges. PCs have experience navigating special education systems, partnering with teachers, and identifying community services. PCs make weekly phone calls to parents to (1) provide emotional support by listening to concerns, acknowledging parents’ experiences, and encouraging problem-solving and self-care; (2) provide informational support by sharing relevant information on behavior, development, parenting, coping, and community resources; and (3) promote positive attitudes by encouraging parents to recognize the support of their social networks, believe that they have control over their child’s education and/or counseling, and acknowledge the benefits of engaging with services. PCs receive ongoing weekly support from Parent Connectors Coaches who have supervisory experience working with families in the child mental health field.


Parent Connectors does not currently meet criteria to receive a rating because no studies of the program that achieved a rating of moderate or high on design and execution demonstrated a favorable effect on a target outcome.


Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed: Aug 2021


Sources

The program or service description, target population, and program or service delivery and implementation information was informed by the following sources: the program or service manuals, the program or service developer’s website, the California Evidence-based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, and the studies reviewed.


This information does not necessarily represent the views of the program or service developers. For more information on how this program or service was reviewed, visit the Review Process page or download the Handbook.

Target Population

Parent Connectors is designed to serve parents of children with emotional or behavioral challenges.

Dosage

Parent Connectors is time-limited and typically delivered throughout the course of a school year (i.e., 9 months) via weekly calls that last approximately 1 hour.

Location/Delivery Setting
Recommended Locations/Delivery Settings

Parent Connectors is delivered over the phone. It can be implemented in partnership with local community agencies or schools to identify parents to train as Parent Connectors and to participate in the program.

Education, Certifications and Training

Parent Connectors (PCs) are parents who have experience raising a child with emotional or behavioral challenges and have successfully navigated school and mental health systems. There are no other education or professional requirements to become a PC. Parent Connectors Coaches provide implementation support to PCs through weekly 2-hour group meetings. Coaches are professionals with supervisory experience working with families in the child mental health field. It is recommended that Coaches have graduate-level training in a social service field that emphasizes clinical work.

 

Program developers or certified consultants provide training and consultation for the first year to all agencies implementing the program. First, Coaches complete a 5-hour training in-person or by phone. Next, both Coaches and PCs complete an initial 16-hour in-person training that covers the program components and program operations, defines the PC role and responsibilities, and provides practice opportunities to role play communication and listening skills. The initial training includes didactic sessions, interactive exercises, and small group discussions. Four 2-hour phone or videoconference consultations are provided to Coaches and PCs after the initial training (at 1, 3, 6, and 8 months). During these follow-up calls, consultants review implementation data, observe supervision meetings, and share feedback with Coaches. About 6 months after the initial training, Coaches and consultants co-lead a 6-hour booster training for PCs. This booster session aims to provide positive support to maintain PCs’ well-being, acknowledge their hard work, and reinforce program goals. Certification status is provided for both the PCs and sites implementing the Parent Connectors program.

Program or Service Documentation
Book/Manual/Available documentation used for review

The PC Training Guide is implemented in conjunction with the PC Coach Manual and Agency Administrator Manual.

Duchnowski, A. J., & Kutash, K. (2018). Parent Connectors: PC training guide.

Duchnowski, A. J., & Kutash, K. (2018). Parent Connectors: PC coach manual.

Duchnowski, A. J., & Kutash, K. (2018). Parent Connectors: Agency administrator manual.

Available languages

Materials for Parent Connectors are available in English.

Other supporting materials

Training & Consultation

Contact Information for Developers

Website: https://cehs.unl.edu/parentconnectors/

Email: parentconnectors@unl.edu

Results of Search and Review Number of Studies Identified and Reviewed for Parent Connectors
Identified in Search 3
Eligible for Review 2
Rated High 1
Rated Moderate 1
Rated Low 0
Reviewed Only for Risk of Harm 0
Outcome Effect Size Effect Size more info
and Implied Percentile Effect Implied Percentile Effect more info
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings
Child well-being: Behavioral and emotional functioning -0.02
0
2 (3) 197 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 3
Unfavorable: 0
Adult well-being: Positive parenting practices -0.17
-6
1 (3) 112 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 3
Unfavorable: 0
Adult well-being: Parent/caregiver mental or emotional health -0.19
-7
1 (1) 85 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 1
Unfavorable: 0
Adult well-being: Family functioning 0.35
13
1 (1) 84 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 1
Unfavorable: 0

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group.

Outcome Effect Size Effect Size more info
and Implied Percentile Effect Implied Percentile Effect more info
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings Months after treatment
when outcome measured
Months after treatment when outcome measured more info
Child well-being: Behavioral and emotional functioning -0.02
0
2 (3) 197 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 3
Unfavorable: 0
-
Kutash, 2011
Ohio Youth Problems, Functioning, and Satisfaction Scales: Hopefulness -0.21
-8
- 86 - 0
Kutash, 2013
Number of Times Suspended from School 0.10
4
- 111 - 0
Number of Days Suspended from School 0.15
6
- 111 - 0
Adult well-being: Positive parenting practices -0.17
-6
1 (3) 112 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 3
Unfavorable: 0
-
Kutash, 2013
Parental Involvement in School Activities -0.26
-10
- 112 - 0
Frequency of Positive Communication with Teachers -0.14
-5
- 112 - 0
Engagement in Child’s Education at Home -0.10
-3
- 112 - 0
Adult well-being: Parent/caregiver mental or emotional health -0.19
-7
1 (1) 85 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 1
Unfavorable: 0
-
Kutash, 2011
Caregiver Strain Questionnaire -0.19
-7
- 85 - 0
Adult well-being: Family functioning 0.35
13
1 (1) 84 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 1
Unfavorable: 0
-
Kutash, 2011
Family Empowerment Scale 0.35
13
- 84 - 0

*p <.05

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group. Effect sizes and implied percentile effects were calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse as described in the Handbook of Standards and Procedures, Section 5.10.4 and may not align with effect sizes reported in individual publications.

Only publications with eligible contrasts that met design and execution standards are included in the individual study findings table.

Full citations for the studies shown in the table are available in the "Studies Reviewed" section.

Sometimes study results are reported in more than one document, or a single document reports results from multiple studies. Studies are identified below by their Prevention Services Clearinghouse study identification numbers.

Studies Rated High

Study 11429

Kutash, K., Duchnowski, A. J., Green, A., & Ferron, J. (2013). Effectiveness of the Parent Connectors program: Results from a randomized trial. School Mental Health, 5(4), 192-208. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-013-9106-4


Studies Rated Moderate

Study 11428

Kutash, K., Duchnowski, A. J., Green, A. L., & Ferron, J. M. (2011). Supporting parents who have youth with emotional disturbances through a parent-to-parent support program: A proof of concept study using random assignment. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 38(5), 412-427. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-010-0329-5




Studies Not Eligible for Review

Study 11427

January, S. A., Hurley, K. D., Stevens, A. L., Kutash, K., Duchnowski, A. J., & Pereda, N. (2016). Evaluation of a community-based peer-to-peer support program for parents of at-risk youth with emotional and behavioral difficulties. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25(3), 836-844. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-015-0271-y

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).