Impact of empowerment training on the professional work of family peer advocates

S. Serene Olin, Kimberly E. Hoagwood, James Rodriguez, Marleen Radigan, Geraldine Burton, Mary Cavaleri, Peter S. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A pilot study using a prospective design examined the impact of a collaboratively developed training model, called the Parent Empowerment Program (PEP), for professionally-employed family peer advocates who work with caregivers of children with mental health needs. This training used a combination of didactic, practice exercises, and group discussion. It targeted specific mental health knowledge content and collaborative skills to facilitate the work of family peer advocates in empowering caregivers. Co-delivered by a family peer advocate and clinician, the training consisted of a 40-hour face-to-face training, followed by six monthly face-to-face booster sessions. A total of 15 advocates participated in assessments conducted at baseline and post-training. This group of experienced family peer advocates showed no significant increase in knowledge about mental health content, but post-training assessments indicated increased collaborative skills and mental health services self-efficacy. This initial evaluation has implications for expanding training and support for the emergent workforce of professionally-employed family peer advocates in children's mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1426-1429
Number of pages4
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Advocates
  • Child mental health
  • Parent empowerment
  • Training model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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