Going to Scale with Family-Centered, School-Based Interventions: Challenges and Future Directions
Although family-centered interventions are known to be effective at reducing risk behavior and increasing academic success, few schools can deliver these interventions successfully. The Positive Family Support (PFS) program was developed based on multiple research studies on the Family Check-Up that have shown the Family Check-Up to be an efficacious prevention model that reduces the risk of substance use, problem behavior, and achievement difficulties. The PFS program was designed to take the Family Check-Up and associated intervention modules to scale in middle schools. The PFS program was implemented in 41 middle schools randomly assigned to receive the training and support associated with the PFS program or middle school as usual. School staff at each middle school delivered the intervention to youths and families. In this chapter, we summarize the key aspects of the PFS program and our approach to implementation. We discuss challenges we faced in the schools, such as budget cuts, staffing, leadership turnover, school climate issues, and fidelity of implementation. Last, we discuss implications of this work for future research and scale-up of family-centered interventions in schools.
KeywordsPrevention Schools Family-centered Parenting Mental health Positive behavior support
This work was supported by grant R324A09011 from the Institute of Education Sciences to John Seeley (PI) and Thomas Dishion (PI).
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