Research Behind Your Journey Together
DCRC is committed to publishing resources that are grounded in theory, research-based as well as both practical and accessible. Your Journey Together is no exception. The following highlights some of the research behind the development of the Your Journey Together (YJT) curriculum.
The peer-reviewed literature as well as other professional publications (e.g., government and professional organization reports and white papers) were consulted to inform the development and content of the YJT curriculum. Broad areas surveyed in this review included:
- Early Childhood Development
- Social and Emotional Health
- Child Welfare
Field Testing and Preliminary Data Collection
Your Journey Together was developed in partnership with a child welfare organization in Florida, Heartland for Children. This collaboration has enabled ongoing field testing and the collection of formative feedback on the social validity and usability of the resource. Focus groups, comprised of agency administrators, staff, and parents, with different levels of familiarity with the curriculum have been held to elicit reactions to the content, structure, and usability of the curriculum throughout the development process.
Elements of the YJT curriculum have been field tested with out-of-home caregivers, birth parents, young children, and professionals at Heartland for Children and other U.S. pilot sites. Preliminary quantitative outcome data have been collected from families involved in field testing throughout the development of the curriculum. Analyses of these preliminary data suggest that children with foster parents who received elements of the YJT curriculum show improvements in protective factor scores from pre- to post-test on the Devereux Early Childhood Assessments for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers.
Ongoing Evaluation Research
The Devereux Center for Resilient Children was recently awarded funding by the Florida Institute for Child Welfare to study the efficacy and effectiveness of the YJT curriculum. The proposal was written in collaboration with Dr. Ana Leon of the University of Central Florida who will serve as one of the Principal investigators working alongside DCRC’s Research Associate Gabriel Smith, and Deborah Alleyne, primary author of the YJT Curriculum. The study uses a quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest design (nonequivalent control group design) to collect data from caregivers of children ages birth through five years who are referred by the Division of Children and Families to participating agencies. A number of Florida-based child welfare agencies will collaborate with us to collect data for this project.
Your Journey Together is designed to be delivered with sensitivity to the prevalence of trauma in the lives of vulnerable children and families. The YJT curriculum was developed to reflect the six key principles of a trauma-informed approach promulgated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2014): safety; trustworthiness; peer support; collaboration; empowerment, and cultural, historical and gender issues. See this alignment tool for more information on how these principles are incorporated into the YJT curriculum.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach. (HHS Publication No. 14-4884). Retrieved from http://store.samhsa.gov/product/SAMHSA-s-Concept-of-Trauma-and-Guidance-for-a-Trauma-Informed-Approach/SMA14-4884
Published Chapter on YJT by DCRC
Smith, G.T., LeBuffe, P., Alleyne, D., Mackrain, M., & Likins, L. (2014). Bringing a resilience perspective to children in the child welfare system: A curriculum for caregivers. In S. Prince-Embury & D.H. Saklofske (Eds.) Resilience interventions for youth in diverse populations (pp. 159-180). New York, NY: Springer.
- Read the full chapter here
- View chapter excerpt at Springer site
- View book synopsis at Springer site
DCRC continues to develop the research support and evidence-base for YJT. Check this page for updates on findings as they emerge!