Two members of Cornell’s Project 2Gen – a community of researchers and practitioners focused on supporting children and their caregivers together – presented research findings and hosted a roundtable discussion this spring at the National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington, DC.
Elizabeth Day, a postdoctoral fellow for Cornell Project 2Gen, and Anna Steinkraus, the Family and Community Development Program Coordinator at Cornell Cooperative Extension, presented research findings about the Strengthening Families Program, a whole-family parent education program designed to teach skills to parents and children in vulnerable families.
Project 2Gen researchers conducted a study to find out if the program is helpful for families in Family Drug Treatment Court with open child welfare cases. The program includes organized sessions for parents, children and entire families on a variety of topics including recognizing feelings, setting limits, problem solving and managing stress. Forty-six families participated in the program between 2014 and 2018.
Researchers found the program helped parents to be more effective and organized, reduced family conflict and improved discipline in families.
“Strengthening Families is one of few truly two-generation programs that simultaneously supports caregivers and their children,” Day said. “We were glad to see the beneficial outcomes for the program and are looking forward to studying it more, along with the other range of services provided through Family Treatment Court in Tompkins County.”
In addition to presenting research, Day and Steinkraus hosted a roundtable discussion about Project 2Gen’s research-practice partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension – Tompkins County. The partnership is funded through the William T. Grant Foundation’s Institutional Challenge Grant. It focuses specifically on families struggling with substance use amidst the opioid epidemic. The goal of the partnership is to build research capacity at Cornell Cooperative Extension-Tompkins and simultaneously enrich research projects on campus with extension educators’ expertise in working closely with families.