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01-12-2017 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2018 Open Access

Journal of Child and Family Studies 4/2018

Evaluation of a Train-The-Trainers Model for Family Peer Advocates in Children’s Mental Health

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 4/2018
Kimberly Eaton Hoagwood, S. Serene Olin, Amy Storfer-Isser, Anne Kuppinger, Priscilla Shorter, Nicole M. Wang, Michele Pollock, Robin Peth-Pierce, Sarah Horwitz


Standardized training and credentialing is increasingly important to states and healthcare systems. Workforce shortages in children's mental health can be addressed through training and credentialing of professional peer parents (called family peer advocates or FPAs), who deliver a range of services to caregivers. A theory-based training program for FPAs targeting skills and knowledge about childhood mental health services (Parent Empowerment Program, or PEP) was developed through a partnership among a statewide family-run organization, state policy leaders, and academic researchers. Prior studies by this team using highly-experienced family peer advocates (who were also co-developers of the training program) as trainers found improvements in knowledge about mental health services and self-efficacy. In 2010, to meet demands and scale the model, a training of trainers (TOT) model was developed to build a cohort of locally-trained FPAs to deliver PEP training. A pre/post design was used to evaluate the impact of TOT model on knowledge and self-efficacy among 318 FPAs across the state. Participants showed significant pre-post (6 month) changes in knowledge about mental health services and self-efficacy. There were no significant associations between any FPA demographic characteristics and their knowledge or self-efficacy scores. A theory-based training model for professional peer parents working in the children's mental health system can be taught to local FPAs, and it improves knowledge about the mental health system and self-efficacy. Studies that evaluate the effectiveness of different training modalities are critical to ensure that high-quality trainings are maintained.

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