PI: Kristin Duppong Hurley
Funding Source: U.S. Department of Education Institute of Educational Sciences R324A130180
Research Design: Randomized Clinical Trial, 2013-2018

Objective: Examine the effectiveness of the Parent Connectors program with families of middle school students with an IEP for behavioral or emotional needs.

Program Description: Parent Connectors is a mentoring program where veteran parents of youth with behavioral needs encourage and support parents of current middle school students with emotional or behavioral issues. This support is delivered via weekly phone calls to help parents gain the perspective of another parent that has “walked in their shoes”. The primary focus is to encourage parents to be involved in their child’s school, education, and any needed mental health services.

Study Aims: Examine effect of Parent Connectors versus a comparison group on proximal outcomes such as engagement in school and mental health services, intermediate outcomes such as school attendance, and distal outcomes like academic performance. Data will be compared at discharge and 1 year follow-up.

Scope: Anticipate sample size of 230 families with middle school child with behavior needs. Collaborating with about 14 districts and over 30 middle schools/agencies in the Lincoln/ Omaha/Council Bluffs area.