Early Connections/Conexiones Tempranas

Process and outcome evaluation of Early Connections/Conexiones Tempranas (EC/CT)–A community-based intervention for families with young children coping with traumatic stress


The purpose of this project is to evaluate Early Connections/Conexiones Tempranas (EC/CT), a program offered by our community partners, Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JF&CS). Goals include addressing traumatic stress and building resilience in families with children ages birth to five while reducing disparities in mental health access among marginalized populations. JF&CS offers EC/CT, providing culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health and social services to primarily Latinx immigrant families living in Waltham, MA and nearby communities. EC/CT provides attachment-based dyadic (Child-Parent Psychotherapy) and group (Circle of Security-Parenting) interventions aimed to strengthen parenting capacities, improve parental mental health and trauma-exposed children’s developmental and behavioral challenges, and prevent intergenerational cycles of re-traumatization.

The evaluation is designed to assess the effectiveness of the EC/CT program at the individual, program, and systems level using a quasi-experimental design (one group pretest-posttest). At the individual level, the evaluation examines improvement in trauma-related symptoms (e.g. traumatic stress), parenting capacities (e.g., parental reflective function and parenting stress), child social-emotional development and the parent-child relationship. At the program level, the evaluation explores program implementation and how well it reaches its target population. Finally, at the systems level, the evaluation explores the opportunities of partnering with community social service agencies working with immigrant families and increasing access to trauma-informed services for families with young children within the greater Waltham area.

Project Team

Ruth Paris, PhD, LICSW
Principal Investigator (PI) for EC/CT evaluation
Boston University School of Social Work

Karen Garber, LICSW CEIS
Project Director EC/CT
Center for Early Relationship Support, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Waltham, MA


SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
NCTSN (National Child Traumatic Stress Network)

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Paris to Unravel Best Ways to Treat Traumatic Stress in Children (November 6, 2009)

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