The Resilient Families program is a school-based family intervention program working with students in low-SES Victorian communities. The program is delivered by Deakin University and aims to effectively increase parent engagement, student social and emotional learning skills, parent involvement in schools, and parenting skills to aid healthy adolescent development. The program provides opportunities for parents to interact with the school community. The evaluation will investigate the program’s effect on student academic outcomes.
Why are we funding it?
The Resilient Families intervention has a proven track record of decreasing anti-social behaviour and drug and alcohol use among year 8 students. We are funding the further development of the program to include a family home-reading component and an evaluation to investigate the intervention’s impact on student academic outcomes. We are specifically interested in programs that can simultaneously improve student resilience and academic outcomes.
Resilient Families is already delivered in many Victorian schools and is participating in a larger evaluation as part of the Communities That Care trial.
What is the evidence to date?
A large randomised trial (14 intervention and 14 control schools, N> 2,000 students followed for three years) found that the program increased early secondary school student social connectedness and reduced binge drinking by 25% across the whole student population. An evaluation in 2016 showed improvements in student social emotional competence in students who received the program, with an effect size > 0.40.
How are we evaluating it?
The Learning Impact Fund has appointed a research team from the School of Education at Western Sydney University to conduct the evaluation. The evaluation team has extensive experience in educational psychology research.
The evaluation will run as an efficacy 2x2 repeated measures design. The trial is designed to examine the effect of the Resilient Families program on students’ academic outcomes. The evaluation will analyse academic outcomes of a randomised group of students from 14 Victorian schools who receive the intervention program as compared to academic outcomes of students from 14 Victorian schools who do not receive the intervention program.
The evaluation will measure student academic outcomes based on year 9 NAPLAN results, as well as student academic resilience and academic self-concept based on pre-and post-surveys administered by the evaluators.
There will also be a developmental evaluation of the new family home-reading components of the program to test their feasibility.
When will the evaluation report be due?
The evaluation report is due in early 2020.