Family Check-Up Website

An Internet Infrastructure for Quality Implementation of the Family Check-Up
Funding period: September 30, 2009–August 31, 2012
Principal Investigator: Dr. Elizabeth Stormshak
Co-Investigators: Dr. Thomas Dishion, Dr. Kate Kavanagh
Funded by: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The goal of this research has been to improve the implementation effectiveness and dissemination of the Family Check-Up (FCU), an ecologically based child and family intervention designed to reduce substance use, support positive family interactions, and reduce child problem behavior. This goal has been accomplished by using Internet-based technological and media support to enhance the FCU protocol.

Specific aims of the project were to develop an Internet-based support system for the FCU model that is user friendly, accessible, and meets the needs of real-world community mental health therapists and school personnel working with high-risk families, and evaluate the impact of a web-based technological enhancement of the FCU on outcomes such as therapist training and uptake of the model, interventionist fidelity, and family enrollment and retention in the program.

Progress 2011-2012: A fully functional website now supports the uptake and dissemination of the Family Check-Up (FCU). This website, located at, provides support and training materials to clinic-based therapists and to school practitioners who are using the FCU model in their community sites. It supports uptake and implementation of the FCU nationwide and internationally. The website enables scoring of protocol and assessment tools, support for therapists with respect to feedback delivery, and use of intervention tools related to our Everyday Parenting curriculum (Dishion, Stormshak, & Kavanagh, 2011). Videotaped examples of the FCU process, featuring four individual families, are also fully accessible. Therapists working in community mental health facilities and school staff provided feedback about the content throughout the development of the website. They assessed whether the site contained clear content, straightforward navigation, and engaging and informative graphics and assessed overall usability. Tracking systems inform us about website use at a global level and at a specific level. School and mental health staff will continue to be trained in the use of the website.

Progress 2010: The website database was constructed, assessment tools were designed, and scoring protocols were written and finalized for assessments. In early 2011, the programmer began to finalize instructional videos created for the website. Project directors, school staff, and community mental health therapists and supervisors have been submitting feedback about what will be most useful to their agencies and schools, and modifications are being made accordingly. Filming on the third of four family video examples was completed, and in early 2011 work was begun on the fourth and final family video. Parent instructional videos are ready for use on the website. Systems have been implemented that will enable us to anonymously and specifically track website use. Therapists who are working in community mental health facilities and school staff who are willing to participate in the research portion of the project are on board. School and mental health staff were trained during summer 2011.