Youth and families with diabetes face significant challenges with diabetes self-care, particularly in the context of school. For parents, sending children with diabetes to school is a major source of stress and anxiety, and for school staff, there is fear and a feeling of unpreparedness. We used Tier I funds to create a community-driven leadership council on this topic in one school district (Everett School District, Everett, Washington). The result of this work is a well-established, stakeholder-led leadership council that has met regularly with the goal of improving communication and identifying barriers and solutions for families with diabetes in the district.
For Tier II, we propose to continue developing and fostering strong community partnerships to gather critical information needed to inform future projects, and we propose to prepare to mobilize research ideas from the community group itself. Our project plan will employ three phases:
- to comprehensively review existing interventions, identify new partners, and host a “Diabetes in Schools” conference to discuss and share best practices;
- to informally interview school staff and families with a diabetic child in school in order to inform the key needs, barriers, and suggestions for improvements; and
- to refine comparative effectiveness research questions and to develop a Tier III application.
The result of this work will lay the groundwork for protocol-driven best practices in this area.