This symposium will explore several parent engagement strategies and determinants across three types of parent interventions – parent mutual support groups, a pre-kindergarten based parent training program, and home visitation programs. Across papers, the populations under study are from underserved racial/ethnic minority populations raising children in low-income, urban communities.
The first paper will review evaluation findings from two engagement strategies implemented in the context of volunteer-driven parent mutual support groups. The first strategy was to match potential newcomers to existing group members who served as sponsor parents, befriending the potential newcomers and encouraging their engagement in the group. The second strategy was a parent mutual support group simulation, which was designed to familiarize parents with the groups and their benefits.
The second paper examines the feasibility, acceptability, sustainability, and impact of a conditional cash transfer program (CCT) for promoting parent participation in parent training implemented in Baltimore City Public Schools. Using bank debit cards, parents receive $15 for each PT session attended and $5 for each practice assignment completed. Effects of the CCT program on parent participation, how parents used the incentives, and efforts for sustaining the CCT program will be presented.
The third paper examines provider and agency-level predictors of parent engagement in home visiting programs for mothers and infants at risk owing to poverty, mental illness, and other contextual stressors. Approximately 75 home visitors from 11 agencies in Rhode Island implemented one of three evidenced based home visiting programs. Provider factors under investigation include openness to delivering evidence based practices, personality characteristics, and amount of training received. Agency predictors include variation in per-client expenditures.
After reviewing the engagement strategies and determinants within specific contexts, the discussant will consider the strengths and weaknesses of the different engagement approaches, along with future directions for engaging parents in preventive interventions.