Project Summary

A movement began in the mid-1980s to create more effective, community-based, and family-driven children’s mental health services. Federal funding became available in the 1990s to develop Systems of Care for children with mental health challenges. Alongside expansion of services, a family movement grew, encouraging the rise of family-run organizations offering parent-to-parent peer support. Anecdotally, from the more than one hundred family-run organizations in the United States, we know that trained parents providing emotional support and assistance with navigating child-serving systems holds tremendous potential for positive youth and family outcomes. However, rigorous research to measure the effectiveness of parent peer support on clinical, functional, and service outcomes for children with mental health challenges and related family outcomes is limited, and its true potential to affect positive outcomes is unknown. Family-Run Executive Directors Leadership Association (FREDLA), an association of family-run organizations, will convene a stakeholder group of family leaders, researchers, and others to design a multisite study to compare multilevel outcomes for children and families receiving parent peer support in addition to traditional mental health services with the outcomes for children and families receiving only traditional mental health services. This stakeholder group will review promising family support models for further testing, identify potential study sites, and engage local partners in study design, ultimately representing a project advisory group that is both family-driven and multidisciplinary. Along with family leaders across the country, Drs. Eric Bruns (Washington State Children’s Mental Health EBP Institute, University of Washington School of Medicine) and Kimberly Hoagwood (IDEAS Center, New York University) will be involved in the project from the outset.

View Tier II Award

Project Information

Jane Walker, MSW
Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA)

Key Dates

9 months


Award Type
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: March 4, 2022