Research on The Effectiveness of Walk Along With Kids and Families Project
This report provides information about a program to enhance the emotional and behavioral health of children aged 2 to 6, and the results of a two-year longitudinal evaluation of the program. The program was implemented and evaluated in three groups: low-income families, families with children with special education needs (SEN), and single parent families. Consistent with the Ecosystem of Service Intervention model, services were provided within four social systems that influence child development. In the child system, program staff worked directly with the child to promote healthy functioning; in the parent system, the program promoted parents’ awareness of children’s needs as well as their parenting efficacy; in the family and inter-family system, the program addressed the parent-child relationship and connections among families; and in the community system, the program offered social support. Each system of intervention included multiple activities, and services were provided by a multidisciplinary team of professionals. These included play therapy run by play therapists, parent group counseling led by social workers, customized IEPs developed by social workers for children with SEN, individualized speech training by speech therapists, and motor skills training by occupational therapists. Below are the project objectives of the Walk Along with Kids and Families Project.