Continuous Quality Improvement of Family-to-Family Peer Support: Using the Family Journey Assessment

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1 Continuous Quality Improvement of Family-to-Family Peer Support: Using the Family Journey Assessment

2 The Family Journey Assessment was developed through a collaboration among current and former staff of the Montgomery County Federation of Families for Children s Mental Health and the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD) Lead Developers: Celia Serkin, Executive Director Montgomery County Federation of Families for Children s Mental Health , ext. 27 Bruno Anthony, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and Deputy Director Center for Child and Human Development, Georgetown University

3 We acknowledge the enormous contribution of the following colleagues. Montgomery County Federation of Families for Children s Mental Health Michele Banks, Family Services Supervisor; Karina Funes Oviedo, Family Support Partner; Janet Lee, Family Navigator; Edith Salazar, Family Navigator/Family Support Partner; Melody Smith, Family Navigator/Family Support Partner; Christine Deeley, Family Navigator; Sari Hornstein, Family Support Partner; Valerie Oliver, Family Support Partner Georgetown Center for Child and Human Development Courtney Holland, Nicole Kahn, Teresa King, Jonathan Safer-Lichtenstein

4 Contents 1. Why Do We Need an Integrated Evaluation of Family Support? 2. How Did We Develop the Family Journey Assessment (FJA)? How did we decide on key outcomes How did we create the items How did we identify the FJA clusters How did we decide on how to administer the FJA 3. How to Use the Family Journey Assessment Administration guidelines Rating guidelines 4. What Do We Know About the Family Journey Assessment:

5 1. Why Do We Need an Evaluation of Family Support Integrated in the Service?

6 Accountability Peer-delivered family support is a growing part of the service array. Standards and competencies for peer family support services are becoming more delineated. In a climate of results-based and outcome accountability, an emphasis on evidence-based practices, and a challenging fiscal climate, it is critical that family organizations assess: What they do How much they do How well they do it Is anyone better off? BUT MEASUREMENT MUST LINK WITH THE GOALS OF FAMILY SUPPORT AND INTEGRATE WITH THE PROCESS.

7 Family Support Model Help family members progress in their journey towards self-advocacy and self-efficacy through the acquisition of skills, knowledge and a network of support Work with families to identify targets and benchmarks for focused and individualized family peer-to-peer support. Provide peer-to-peer support that helps families resolve their own challenges and address their unique needs. Support some family members to become advocates for other children as well as their own.

8 The Family Journey Assessment Integrates with Family Support Goals and Processes: Completed by Parent Support Providers (PSPs) in collaboration with family members. Determines where families are in their journey tracking the family s progress toward self-advocacy and self-efficacy through the acquisition of skills, knowledge, and a network of support. Identifies targets and benchmarks for individualized support.

9 The Family Journey Assessment Integrates with Family Support Goals and Processes: Helps families identify and resolve their own challenges and address their unique needs. Provides indicators for the specific level and content of peer-to-peer skill-building and support depending on the stage the family member is in at a particular point in time. Facilitates celebrating successes along the way.

10 The Family Journey Assessment PSPs Rate the Level of Support Needed on a 4 Point Scale Intensive Moderate Supportive Empowered The family finds it very difficult to make changes to improve the The family needs extensive assistance and encouragement The family needs limited assistance from the Parent Support Provider The family member is making changes to improve the current situation; from the Parent to partner to make current situation requires active Support Provider to changes to without intervention from make changes to improve the assistance from the Parent Support Provider (PSP). improve the current current situation. situation. the Parent Support Provider. Important A family member s movement on this continuum is fluid; it may move back and forth from one stage to another.

11 2. HOW DID WE DEVELOP THE FAMILY JOURNEY ASSESSMENT?

12 How is the FJA Different form Other Measures of Family Outcomes? Developed directly from experiences of Parent Support Providers and goals of family support important movement, process and experience of the family journey. More comprehensive. Less about satisfaction with youth s progress and related services. Taps specific skills and knowledge. Focuses on progress that would reduce the impact of caregiving burden: working with others, problem solving, coping and implementation of gained knowledge and skills. Integrates with family support process.

13 How Did We Decide on the Key Outcomes? - From Family Support Experience Self-Knowledge (e.g., communicates needs, accepts and appreciates strengths and challenges of self and child) Well-being and reduced self-blame (e.g., family relations and decision-making, daily routines) Knowledge seeking (e.g., resources, systems) Collaboration and connection to decrease isolation (e.g., stakeholders, natural supports) Uses Knowledge (e.g., communicate, discuss, involvement)

14 How Did We Decide on the Key Outcomes? From Research on Providing Family Support Improves family activation to seek care. Improves caregiver self-efficacy-- active participation in decision-making. Improves caregiver s knowledge and accurate beliefs about children s mental health (associated with utilization of higher quality services for children). Improves retention in and satisfaction with care, health outcomes, and receipt of appropriate treatments for child.

15 How Did We Create the Items of the FJA? Began with initial ideas of the important outcomes. A team of Parent Support Providers (i.e., Family Support Partners and Family Navigators) and researchers met frequently over two years to develop a large set of items created by asking the following questions: What are the skills and knowledge needed? How do we know a family is at a certain skill or knowledge level? What are the signs that a family is progressing? What do families need to be empowered? The team narrowed that set down to 36 items and modified the way they were worded through many more discussions. Tried to make items as clear as possible. Conversations about cultural differences, and are we being sensitive to other cultures. Always reminding ourselves that we are separating the family s journey from the child s.

16 How Did We Identify the FJA Clusters? Items fell naturally into 6 content areas: Cluster 1: Self-Knowledge (9 items) Cluster 2: Family Well-Being (4 items) Cluster 3: Seeking Information (2 items) Cluster 4: Collaborates with Others (7 items) Cluster 5: Uses Newly Attained Knowledge (6 items) Cluster 6: Coping Skills (8 items) Clusters align with the National Federation of Families for Children s Mental Health s Core Competencies for Parent Support Providers.

17 Family Journey Assessment: Item Clusters Cluster 1: Self-Knowledge (9 items) Items in this cluster tap the caregiver s capacity to recognize and realistically communicate the strengths and needs of their child and their own strengths and needs and to see the importance of this process. Cluster 2: Family Well-Being (5 items) This cluster includes items related to the caregiver s involvement in interactions within and outside of the family that involve making decisions affecting the family and child, to his or her feelings of support and connections within and outside the family, and to the ability to maintain a daily routine.

18 Family Journey Assessment: Item Clusters Cluster 3: Information Seeking (2 items) The two items in this cluster concern the caregiver s efforts to obtain resources relevant to helping the child or youth, such as information about relevant systems and other available community resources. Cluster 4: Collaboration (6 items) Items in this cluster tap whether caregivers access help from formal and natural supports as well as those who have similar experiences.

19 Family Journey Assessment: Item Clusters Cluster 5: Knowledge Utilization (6 items) Items in this cluster assess the caregiver s skills in using information and skills gained to address the needs of the youth and family, including effective communication (e.g., active participation, assertiveness), advocacy and recruitment of support. Cluster 6: Coping (8 items) Items in this cluster assess whether the caregiver has been able to develop and carry out a plan to address stressors and handle crises. Items also examine the ability to understand and handle feelings of distress to further resilience and perseverance.

20 How Did We Decide How to Administer the FJA? Need for a semi-structured interview format to allow collaborative dialogue between the Parent Support Provider and the family member. Allows the Parent Support Provider to evaluate the information and ask probing questions. Helps track the progress of their work together. Baseline (2 weeks of the beginning of involvement): used in a discussion of the goals of family support Follow-up (three month intervals/end of service): introduced in the context of reviewing the progress that the family has achieved since the last administration.

21 How Did We Decide How to Administer the FJA? Evaluation of interview format and scoring by Parent Support Providers of the Montgomery County Federation of Families revealed the need for: Introductory script to introduce the FJA to caregivers Prompts to elicit disclosure Clear scoring anchors

22 3. HOW TO USE THE FAMILY JOURNEY ASSESSMENT

23 Cover Page Filled out for every administration of the FJA. Keeps track of the caregiver, family, and rater (Parent Support Provider) ID numbers. The comments lines should be used to note important context factors (e.g., level of involvement, affect, recent events) that might influence the results.

24 Administration Guidelines Use Administration Prompts. Begin with general open-ended questions organized around the clusters. Then, if necessary, use suggested follow-up prompts. Interviewer needs a good understanding of the items and the semi-structured method. Check your impressions with the family member and reconcile differences. (See examples of feedback prompts in Administrative Prompts handout.) Remain as open and non-judgmental as possible.

25 Example of Administration Prompts: Self- Knowledge Cluster General Prompts Tell me about how things are going with (child s name?) What do you think would really help (child s name) How easy is it for you to talk with others about (child s name). What helps? Tell me about how things are going with you? Specific Prompts Let s talk about what has caused (child s name) difficulties? What would be the good things that people would say about (child s name)? How do you think you and your family can help with (child s name) difficulties? Specific item can be read (or paraphrased) to the family. This should be the last resort.

26 Example of Feedback Prompts: Self-Knowledge It sounds like you have a great sense of what (child s name) needs to succeed. Maybe you are focusing so much on her needs that you have difficulty making time to take care of yourself. What do you think? We talked (child s name) s strengths, challenges, and needs. You explained his needs very clearly. Do you think that you are able to recognize and communicate his strengths and challenges in the same way?

27 Rating Guidelines Integrate current knowledge of the family, information provided by the family during discussion, other conversations with the family, observation, as well as information from the youth, natural and formal supports, and other key stakeholders. Rating should reflect the family s average level of functioning for each item during the past month. Use observation and reported information in making a rating. Try not to use what you think the caregivers skills or knowledge are. Expect that there will be fluctuations may not be a linear process.

28 Rating Guidelines Take into consideration factors such as gender, life experiences, cultural heritages, socio-economic circumstances and beliefs/values. Try not to impose your own value judgments that may be heavily influenced by your age, gender, social class, or cultural background. Always work with the family when using this tool it is a dialogue. Try to use the same procedures for gathering information (e.g., talk to the same informants, use the same interview format) for each administration. USE THE ANCHORS IN THE MANUAL TO HELP MAKE RATING DECISIONS.

29 Anchors: Guidelines Cluster 1: Self-Knowledge Communicates needs related to culture, language, learning and thinking styles in order to progress Intensive Moderate Supportive Empowered The caregiver is unable to or does not articulate beliefs or expectations or verbalize information that is necessary to address the child s needs. He is not aware of the family s, and particularly the child s, needs and is unaware of personal thinking and learning styles. The caregiver may feel intimidated by professionals or may be unable to communicate in the English language. The caregiver communicates limited information about the family and the child s needs. His ability or willingness to communicate needs may differ based on who he is communicating with. Needs are communicated with little explanation or rationale. The caregiver communicates most needs to most people who need to be informed. His ability or willingness to communicate needs may differ based on the sense of comfort/ connection with the person he is communicating with. The caregiver is very aware of the needs of the family and child and effectively communicates and verbalizes his needs to those who need it.

30 Anchors: Example Cluster 1: Self-Knowledge Communicates needs related to culture, language, learning and thinking styles in order to progress Intensive Moderate Supportive Empowered Mr. Conteh, who is of West African descent, has strong religious/cultural beliefs that conflict with the use of psychiatric medications. When his son s pediatrician suggests the use of stimulant medication for ADHD, he takes the prescription but never fills it. Mr. Conteh tells his son s doctor that he does not want his son to take stimulant medicine because he knows it won t work.. Although the pediatrician suggests alternative medications, Mr. Conteh refuses to consider them. Mr. Conteh tells his son s doctor that he does not believe in medication, but does not elaborate. He does ask for alternative treatments. He is able to talk with the Parent Support Provider about his religious concerns. Mr. Conteh explains to his son s doctor that psychiatric medications are against his beliefs. He gives examples of the treatments that he would be willing to consider. He asks the pediatrician about other options to improve his son s focus and reduce hyperactivity.

31 4. WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE FAMILY JOURNEY ASSESSMENT

32 FJA: Michigan Study A collaboration with the Association for Children s Mental Health (ACMH) in Michigan, the statewide family organization, which agreed to support the use of the FJA within their network of certified Parent Support Providers. A total of 24 Parent Support Providers were trained to administer the FJA (22 female, 2 male) The Parent Support Provides administered a total of 482 assessments with 301 caregivers. Baseline, : 281 caregivers Three month follow-up : 111 caregivers; Six months, 44 caregivers

33 PSP Survey Participating Parent Support Providers who had at least 6 months of experience administering the FJA were asked to complete an on-line survey to assess: Comfort in using the FJA Usability and relevance of each item

34 Most PSPs felt comfortable or very comfortable in using the FJA

35 Parent Support Providers Rated Each Item on the FJA Using the 3 Scales Below Rating Understand able Ease of Response Relevant Very difficulty to understand Very difficulty to respond Not at all relevant/ does not apply to family journey Difficulty to understand Difficulty to respond A little relevant/ applies a little to family journey Neither difficult nor easy to understand Neither difficult nor easy to respond Somewhat relevant/ somewhat applies to family journey Easy to understand Easy to respond Relevant/ does apply to family journey Very easy to understand Very easy to respond Very relevant/ applies very much to family journey

36 FJA items were viewed as easily understandable and relevant to the goals of peer support, although converting information provided by families to ratings was somewhat challenging.

37 Scale Structure of FJA For these analyses, the clusters were combined into 3 scales Scale # of items Clusters (# of items) Included Recognition 13 Self Knowledge (7); Family Well- Being (3); Knowledge Utilization (2); Collaboration (1) Collaboration 11 Collaboration (5); Knowledge Utilization (4); Information Seeking (2) Activation 12 Coping (8); Family Well-Being (2); Self Knowledge (2) Description Awareness of the strengths and needs of child and involvement in decision-making and communication around the child s care. Connection with other families; use of resources; active participation in helpseeking activities; and skills in gathering information and using it to access needed services. Understanding of own needs and strengths; coping skills; and abilities to develop and carry out plans of care for child, including dealing with crises.

38 Key Baseline Result At baseline, score for the Recognition scale was significantly higher (less support needed) than for the Collaboration scale and the Activation scale. Caregivers were more able to identify the strengths and needs of their child than to use available resources, actively participation in help-seeking activities and information gathering, or understand their own needs and ways to coping with challenges.

39 Key Changes in FJA Over Time in Family Support From baseline to follow-ups, average scores for each FJA scale increased significantly. With greater time spent in family support, caregivers needed less PSP input to achieve goals.

40 Family Support s Affect on Different Areas Recognition: Parent Support Providers helped families get information, connect with relevant supports to access services but had less consistent impact on the ability to effectively communicate needs and use support. Collaboration: Within a short time, Parent Support Providers helped families gather necessary information and support but developing skills related to advocating, sharing, and engaging with others outside of the family took longer. Activation: Parents needed the most support in taking care of themselves--recognizing their own needs, reducing stress, accessing support and effectively dealing with crises with a coherent plan of care.

41 Important: A High Percentage, But Not All, Parents Showed Positive Changes Percent of parents who showed less need for more intense support was greater at 6 months (54%) than at 3 months (36%) Percent of parents who showed more need for more intense support from baseline to follow-up was about 10%

42 Summary of Michigan Study Implementation of the FJA in Michigan showed its feasibility, usability and consistency as a tool to track progress in peer support and provides an important view into the experiences of families of children with mental health issues who engage in family-to-family support services. The FJA fills a gap by providing a standardized model to link family goals and outcomes to those of family-to-family support services. The FJA also holds promise as a measure of the outcome of familyto-family support services that can identify benchmarks for focused and individualized family peer-to-peer support and parental advocacy by targeting particular knowledge or skills, depending on the families level of need. The results are hard to present in a few slides. We can answer questions at any time.

43 Hope This Was a Useful Introduction to the FJA.

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