YJT Research

The Research Behind Your Journey Together

DCRC is committed to publishing resources that are grounded in theory, research-based, as well as both practical and accessible. Your Journey Together (YJT) is no exception. The following information highlights some of the research behind the development of the YJT curriculum.

Literature Reviews

The peer-reviewed literature as well as other professional publications (e.g., government and professional organization reports and white papers) were consulted to inform the development and content of the YJT curriculum. Broad areas surveyed in this review included:

  • Early childhood development
  • Social and emotional health
  • Resilience
  • Trauma
  • Child welfare
  • Parenting practices

Access a document that highlights select literature that informed the development of Your Journey Together curriculum. For the complete list of the literature that was reviewed, please see pages 257-265 in the YJT Coach Guide.

Field Testing and Preliminary Data Collection

Your Journey Together was developed in partnership with a child welfare organization in Florida, Heartland for Children. This collaboration has enabled ongoing field testing and the collection of formative feedback on the social validity and usability of the resource. Focus groups, comprised of agency administrators, staff and parents, with different levels of familiarity with the curriculum have been held to elicit reactions to the content, structure, and usability of the curriculum throughout the development process.

Elements of the YJT curriculum have been field tested with out-of-home caregivers, birth parents, young children, and professionals at various pilot sites. Preliminary quantitative outcome data have been collected from families involved in field testing throughout the development of the curriculum. Analyses of these preliminary data suggest that children with foster parents who received elements of the YJT curriculum show improvements in protective factor scores from pre- to post-test on the Devereux Early Childhood Assessments for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers.

FICW Research Study

The Devereux Center for Resilient Children was awarded funding by the Florida Institute for Child Welfare (FICW) to study the efficacy and effectiveness of the YJT curriculum. The study was written and conducted in collaboration with Dr. Ana Leon of the University of Central Florida. The one-year study was designed to collect data from parents of children, ages birth through five years, who were referred to participating agencies for home-based services by the Division of Children and Families.

A report of the findings of this study can be found here.

Trauma Sensitive

Your Journey Together is designed to be delivered with sensitivity to the prevalence of trauma in the lives of vulnerable children and families.  The YJT curriculum was developed to reflect the six key principles of a trauma-informed approach, promulgated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2014): safety; trustworthiness; peer support;  collaboration; empowerment, and cultural, historical and gender issues. See this alignment tool for more information on how these principles are incorporated into the YJT curriculum.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach. (HHS Publication No. 14-4884). Retrieved from http://store.samhsa.gov/product/SAMHSA-s-Concept-of-Trauma-and-Guidance-for-a-Trauma-Informed-Approach/SMA14-4884

DCRC Published Chapter on YJT

Smith, G.T., LeBuffe, P., Alleyne, D., Mackrain, M., & Likins, L. (2014). Bringing a resilience perspective to children in the child welfare system: A curriculum for caregivers. In S. Prince-Embury & D.H. Saklofske (Eds.) Resilience interventions for youth in diverse populations (pp. 159-180). New York, NY: Springer.

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