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Parent Educators in Early Intervention: Insights From Evaluations

Edwards, Nicole Megan PhD; Gallagher, Peggy A. PhD

doi: 10.1097/IYC.0000000000000011
Original Research/Study

In 1 state's Part C early intervention (EI) program, families are afforded a unique opportunity to connect with parent educators (PEs), parents of children who have received EI services, and who are trained to support EI families and staff with a range of tailored duties. In an effort to continually reflect and improve upon the role of PEs, the authors conduct an annual PE program evaluation with input from 4 groups of stakeholders including EI coordinators, service coordinators, parents in EI, and the PEs themselves. Findings from 3 consecutive annual evaluations are presented in this article. Although there continues to be primarily positive feedback and appreciation for the PE model, the evaluation process allows certain areas in need of improvement to be acknowledged and subsequently addressed. Considerations for evaluating a statewide initiative as well as incorporating a PE model are discussed.

Department of Language, Literacy, and Special Education, Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey (Dr Edwards), and Department of Educational Psychology & Special Education, Georgia State University, Atlanta (Dr Gallagher).

Correspondence: Nicole Megan Edwards, PhD, Department of Language, Literacy, and Special Education, Rowan University, 201 Mullica Hill Rd. Glassboro, NJ 08028 (EdwardsN@rowan.edu).

At the time of data collection, the first author was associate director and second author was director of a sponsor-funded grant from the Georgia Department of Public Health funds for the parent educator model discussed in this article are allocated from this grant.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.