Patterns and Outcomes of Parent Participation in Flexible Paraprofessional-Led Services
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This longitudinal open trial draws on data from a prevention and early intervention service model to enhance school engagement for children in prekindergarten through third grade and their families. The service model was implemented by four social service agencies in communities of concentrated poverty utilizing a paraprofessional workforce to provide school- and home-based services. This study examined parents’ participation in services over the course of eight months, i.e., a full school year, across four service formats – parenting groups, home visits, case management, and individual contacts. We also explored whether the amount of parent participation in different service formats was associated with changes in parental involvement in their children’s schooling. Results indicated that 39.1% of parents were reached through parenting groups and 42.2% through home visits, and families attended 3.15 parenting groups and received 2.18 home visits on average. In comparison, 82.1% of parents participated in at least one case management contact, and 99.2% were reached through individual contacts, with mean number of each type of contact approaching 10 and 15, respectively. Bivariate correlations and multi-group regression models revealed considerable agency differences in the amount parents participated in each service format, as well as in associations between participation in services and changes in parent involvement across three self-reported domains: Home Based Learning, Home School Communication, and School Based Involvement in schooling. Differences across agencies highlight the unique context-specific opportunities to engage individuals and support their wellbeing, and the value of a paraprofessional workforce to identify and capitalize on those opportunities.
Subjectcommunity-based paraprofessionals parenting poverty schools