On The Way Home®

Mental Health In-home Parent Skill-Based Promising

On the Way Home® (OTWH) is designed to support families with youth ages 12–18 as youth transition from residential out-of-home care to home, school, and community settings. OTWH supports this transition by empowering families, enhancing family relationships, and supporting academic engagement and success. The program integrates three interventions: Check & Connect , Common Sense Parenting (CSP), and homework support.

 

Check & Connect is a school dropout prevention program. The “Check” component consists of family consultants monitoring the youth’s school engagement (e.g., tardiness, absences, detentions, suspensions) and level of risk for dropout. All youth receive a basic “Connect” intervention where the family consultant holds brief weekly conversations with the youth, their caregivers, and a school-based mentor. During these meetings, family consultants discuss educational goals and emphasize the importance of school engagement. If high-risk behaviors are identified in the Check component, youth receive intensive Connect interventions designed to promote school engagement. The intensive format consists of both general interventions, such as basic problem solving, and targeted interventions. Targeted interventions address specific risk behavior(s) and youth’s individual needs (e.g., addressing logistical problems for school absenteeism, one-on-one tutoring to address failing classes).

 

Common Sense Parenting (CSP) is a six-session group-based parenting education program. OTWH uses a proprietary, modified CSP curriculum to deliver parenting education in an individual format in the home. The goals of this program are to help parents encourage their children’s positive behavior, establish effective discipline strategies, and regulate their own emotions. An additional modification is that the family consultant continues to follow up with parents on skills learned in the program beyond the end of the 6-week intervention.

 

The homework support intervention is designed to encourage parental involvement in the youth’s homework routine. It includes a basic component and an enhanced component. All youth receive the basic component, which includes a homework checklist and a system for monitoring homework completion. For youth who continue to struggle with homework completion or who are struggling in one or more academic areas, family consultants implement the enhanced component of the homework intervention. In the enhanced component, the family consultant meets with the caregiver, youth, and school staff to identify additional strategies to promote academic success (e.g., identifying a tutor, contacting a homework helpline, establishing a consequence system).


OTWH is rated as a promising practice because at least one study achieved a rating of moderate or high on study design and execution and demonstrated a favorable effect on a target outcome.


Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed: Jun 2022


Sources

The program or service description, target population, and program or service delivery and implementation information were informed by the following sources: the program or service manual, the program or service developer’s website, and the studies reviewed.


This information does not necessarily represent the views of the program or service developers. For more information on how this program or service was reviewed, visit the Review Process page or download the Handbook.

Target Population

OTWH is designed to serve families with youth ages 12–18 transitioning from residential out-of-home care to home, school, and community settings.

Dosage

OTWH services are provided for up to 12 months after a youth exits an out-of-home placement. The CSP intervention is delivered over 6 weekly individual sessions. Each session lasts about 1 hour. The Check & Connect and homework support interventions are delivered throughout the duration of the program. The frequency of these interventions is based on child and family needs and is specified in the service plan.

Across all three interventions, family consultants typically provide 2 hours per week of direct services (e.g., Connect interventions, CSP parenting sessions, homework support) and 1 hour per week of indirect services (e.g., developing and monitoring the youth and family’s service plan) to youth and families. Family consultants complete the Check component of Check & Connect, typically once per week.

Location/Delivery Setting
Recommended Locations/Delivery Settings

OTWH is delivered in participants’ homes and in school and community settings.

Location/Delivery Settings Observed in the Research

  • Home
  • School

Education, Certifications and Training

The program is implemented by a family consultant and a school-based mentor. Family consultants typically have a bachelor’s degree or prior experience in psychology, social work, education, human services, or a related field. School-based mentors must be employed by the school or district and meet education requirements determined by the school or district implementing the program. Program supervisors oversee family consultants and typically have advanced education and experience in the field. Family consultants and school-based mentors are required to complete program training.

Program or Service Documentation
Book/Manual/Available documentation used for review

The On the Way Home Program Manual is implemented in conjunction with the Common Sense Parenting Instructional Guide.

Boys Town. (2021). On the Way Home program manual. Boys Town Press.

Boys Town. (2021). Common Sense Parenting® (OTWH Edition) instructional guide. Boys Town Press.

Available languages

OTWH materials are available in English.

Other supporting materials

Program Brochure

Contact Information for Developers

Website: https://www.boystowntraining.org/on-the-way-home.html

Phone: (800) 545-5771

Email: training@boystown.org

Results of Search and Review Number of Studies Identified and Reviewed for On The Way Home®
Identified in Search 2
Eligible for Review 2
Rated High 0
Rated Moderate 2
Rated Low 0
Reviewed Only for Risk of Harm 0
Outcome Effect Size Effect Size more info
and Implied Percentile Effect Implied Percentile Effect more info
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings
Child permanency: Out-of-home placement 0.33
12
2 (5) 278 Favorable: 1
No Effect: 4
Unfavorable: 0

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group.

Outcome Effect Size Effect Size more info
and Implied Percentile Effect Implied Percentile Effect more info
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings Months after treatment
when outcome measured
Months after treatment when outcome measured more info
Child permanency: Out-of-home placement 0.33
12
2 (5) 278 Favorable: 1
No Effect: 4
Unfavorable: 0
-
Trout, 2012
School & Home Placement Change Questionnaire: Child Currently Living in a Community-Based Placement (%) 1.06
35
- 44 - 0
School & Home Placement Change Questionnaire: Child Currently Living in a Community-Based Placement (%, 6 Months After Baseline) 1.53
43
- 44 - 0
School & Home Placement Change Questionnaire: Child Currently Living in a Community-Based Placement (%, 9 Months After Baseline) 1.69
45
- 44 - 0
Trout, 2013
School & Home Placement Change Questionnaire: Child Currently Living in a Community-Based Placement (%, 6 Months After Baseline) 1.39 *
41
- 79 - 0
Trout, 2020
School & Home Placement Change Questionnaire: Child Currently Living in a Community-Based Placement 0.00
0
- 155 - 0

*p <.05

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group. Effect sizes and implied percentile effects were calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse as described in the Handbook of Standards and Procedures, Section 5.10.4 and may not align with effect sizes reported in individual publications.

Only publications with eligible contrasts that met design and execution standards are included in the individual study findings table.

Full citations for the studies shown in the table are available in the "Studies Reviewed" section.

Sometimes study results are reported in more than one document, or a single document reports results from multiple studies. Studies are identified below by their Prevention Services Clearinghouse study identification numbers.

Studies Rated Moderate

Study 14204

Trout, A. L., Tyler, P., M., Stewart, M. C., & Epstein, M. H. (2012). On the Way Home: Program description and preliminary findings. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(6), 1115-1120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.01.046

Trout, A. L., Lambert, M. C., Epstein, M. H., Tyler, P., Thompson, R. W., Stewart, M., & Daly, D. L. (2013). Comparison of On the Way Home aftercare supports to traditional care following discharge from a residential setting: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Child Welfare, 92(3), 27-45. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24818429/

Study 14206

Trout, A. L., Lambert, M. C., Thompson, R., Duppong, K. H., & Tyler, P. (2020). On the Way Home: Promoting caregiver empowerment, self-efficacy, and adolescent stability during family reunification following placements in residential care. Residential Treatment for Children and Youth, 37(4), 269-292. https://doi.org/10.1080/0886571X.2019.1681047