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.
- Child mental health
- Parent empowerment
- Training model
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science