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Summaries of RCT Grants

RCT of the Educational Liaison dropout prevention program for middle and high school students in foster care

This is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the Child Advocates of Indianapolis’ Educational Liaison (EL) intervention model, a dropout prevention program for middle and secondary school students in the foster care system.

Grant Recipient: The Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP) at Indiana University

Principal Investigators: John Hitchcock, Ph.D., Indiana University Bloomington
Jeffrey Anderson, Ph.D., Indiana University Bloomington
Patricia Muller, Ph.D., Indiana University Bloomington

Term: 2018 –2025

Funding: $498,908

Summary: This is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the Child Advocates of Indianapolis’ Educational Liaison (EL) intervention model, a dropout prevention program for middle and secondary school students in the foster care system. The EL intervention incorporates key elements from the Check & Connect model, which has credible evidence of effectiveness (two prior, well-conducted RCTs), and additionally provides wraparound services, consulting on Individualized Education Programs, graduation and post-secondary planning, and other services. Approximately 400 eligible students will be enrolled in the study over two years and randomly assigned to either receive EL services in addition to standard Best Interest Advocate (BIA) services (treatment group) or to receive only the standard BIA services (control group). The primary outcome of interest will be students’ need to participate in an alternate graduation path (AGP) over the four-year follow-up period. AGP serves as a proxy for school dropout rates. The AGP classification is determined by a formula identifying students for whom it will be almost impossible to graduate on time and with a standard diploma based on a student’s credit hours earned relative to other students in their cohort. Secondary outcomes will include credit hours earned, attendance, academic achievement based on state test scores, disciplinary referrals, suspensions, and expulsions.

The study’s pre-specified analysis plan is linked here.

Grants

Arnold Ventures funds projects to understand problems and identify policy solutions.

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