By: Gabriel Smith, Devereux Center for Resilient Children
The Devereux Center for Resilient Children was recently awarded funding for a research project to study the efficacy of the Your Journey Together (YJT) curriculum – a new DCRC program designed to promote the social and emotional well-being and resilience of vulnerable children and their families. Funding was granted by The Florida Institute for Child Welfare (FICW), an initiative based out of Florida State University (FSU). The Institute was established by the Florida Legislature to advance the well-being of children and families by improving the performance of child protection and child welfare services through research, policy, analysis, evaluation, and leadership development.
Through its first grant-making period, FICW provided funding for just 10 projects in the State of Florida. The Devereux Center for Resilient Children is proud to have proposed one of the 10 funded projects! The proposal was written in collaboration with Dr. Ana Leon of the University of Central Florida (UCF) 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 on this project including:
- Peace River Center’s Home to Stay Program
- Children’s Home Society of Florida’s CARE Program
- Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services Diversion Program
In order to begin YJT implementation, staff from participating agencies attended a two day professional development event. Martha Fitzpatrick, a participant from Children’s Home Society, shared her thoughts on her agency’s involvement in this project.
CARE is a home visiting program with Children’s Home Society (CHS) in Seminole County Florida that provides services to families in order to stabilize the home and divert them from the child welfare system. CHS Care was invited to join Devereux and University of Central Florida for a project to explore the effectiveness of the Your Journey Together curriculum. CARE staff participated in a two day training October 1-2, 2015, to learn about the curriculum and the research project. Care staff enjoyed the materials and interactive training that focused a lot on initiative, attachment, and self-regulation. Care staff are excited and looking forward to implementing the program with their families who have at least one child 0-5. We believe this focused curriculum will make a significant positive impact on our families’ ability to care for their children in a healthy and safe environment. A special thanks to Debbie Alleyne, Gabriel Smith, Dr. Leon and Shannon Holliker for the time spent with the Care program and their continued support.
The DCRC team is very excited to collaborate with staff at the Community Agencies as well as University Researchers to build the evidence base for YJT.
We invite you to learn more about Your Journey Together in the following ways:
- Click here for an Information Packet.
- Click here to visit the Your Journey Together website.
- Click here to sign up for a free one-hour overview webinar on Monday, December 14 from 1 to 2 PM East Coast Time.