Therapeutic Interagency Preschool Program (TIP), a collaboration between Butler County Educational Service Center-Head Start and Butler County Job and Family Services-Children Services

Summary: This study measured the effects of the TIP program, which provides trauma-focused services to Head Start children and parents using Conscious Discipline. For students referred to TIP, Butler County Educational Service Center used Conscious Discipline to provide social emotional supports. The study indicates meaningful, measurable gains in terms of student behavior and family stability.

A classroom rubric guided and monitored social emotional supports, and counselors used Conscious Discipline-based treatment plans directly with children. Parenting support and parent education were also provided using Conscious Discipline. Both negative behaviors resulting from trauma and positive behaviors resulting from social emotional learning were measured before and after these interventions (2017-2018 school year). Data was collected using the Trauma Symptom Checklist and the Deveraux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) in collaboration with a mental health consultant.

Evidence/Findings: Areas of concern measured included anxiety, depression, anger/aggression, and PTSD. A comparison of each area before and after Conscious Discipline intervention indicated:

  • 19% decrease in anxiety
  • 9% decrease in depression
  • 16% decrease in anger and aggression
  • 26% decrease in PTSD
  • 12% decrease in overall mental health concerns

The study also measured protective factors, including self-regulation and total protective factors, at the beginning and end of the school year. These skills were evaluated by a mental health consultant. Results demonstrated:

  • Prior to intervention, self-regulation was a need for 97.6% of students and was typical for 2.4%.
  • After intervention, self-regulation was a need for 61.0% of students and typical for 39.0%.
  • Prior to intervention, total protective factors were a need for 95.1% of students and typical for 4.9%.
  • After intervention, total protective factors were a need for 48.8% of students and typical for 51.2%.

Brigance Testing is a norm-referenced screening tool that compares each child’s results with the performance of other examinees of the same age. Before the TIP program, children were approximately eight months behind average. At the end of the program, children were four months behind.

Additionally, Butler County Preschool classrooms using the TIP program had the highest average child growth scores, with average program scale scores equal to or higher than other classrooms. CCR Analytics, an early education data analysis partner, determined that the school should use TIP classrooms to inform best practices.