Let’s Connect® is a parenting intervention that teaches caregivers to identify and respond to children’s emotional needs and behaviors in a way that builds connection and warmth and promotes children’s emotional competence, sense of emotional security, and well-being.
Let’s Connect® for Families
(LC) does this in 4 primary ways:
- Provides caregiver education about resilience, social and emotional development, family emotional climate, children’s behavioral challenges, and other topics specific to each family, including child trauma.
- Builds caregivers’ social and emotional skills and well being, including caregiver self-awareness, perspective taking, emotional regulation, and supportive presence.
- Teaches caregivers specific skills for interacting with their child in a way that promotes supportive relationship quality, child social and emotional competence, and children’s mental/behavioral health and well-being.
- Supports caregivers in developing intentional environments that integrate rituals, routines, and daily rhythms into the home to promote predictability, consistency, and opportunities for connection.
Let’s Connect® skills are grounded in developmental and clinical research. Research shows that caregiver response to child emotion is central to fostering children’s social and emotional competence (e.g., emotion regulation), emotional security, mental/behavioral/physical health, and overall resilience. LC offers individualized training, skills modeling, and live support for skills practice for caregivers of children and youth (ages 3-16) over approximately 8 to 12 sessions. Families gain specific tools for addressing behavioral challenges and talking about important, and sometimes difficult, family topics, including family transitions, divorce, separation, illness, trauma, grief and loss.
Let’s Connect® live web-based trainings
As a response to COVID-19, Let’s Connect® held a number of web-based trainings, drawing participants across the country and increasing support for youth and caregivers! These trainings continue. Visit the Let’s Connect® website to learn more.
Let’s Connect® Research
Past Projects and Community-Based Evaluations
Let’s Connect® (group and individual format) has been evaluated in both clinical and community settings with families from diverse backgrounds. Our community partners have included several agencies that provide mental health and/or prevention services for youth and families. Across these projects, Let’s Connect® outcomes are promising.
Let’s Connect® is associated with increased:
- Parent/caregiver emotional awareness and regulation
- Parent/caregiver supportive emotion communication practices
- Child cooperation
- Effective discipline practices
- Children’s social and emotional competence
- Treatment engagement when used as a strategic enhancement to an evidence-based treatment for child trauma
Let’s Connect® is associated with decreased:
- Parent/caregiver unsupportive or invalidating emotion communication practices
- Parenting stress
- Child behavioral concerns
- Child exposure to violence
- Let’s Connect® has been designated as a promising practice by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network:
- Let’s Connect® is designated as a promising strategy for early care and education (Child Trends).
Current Projects and Community-Based Evaluations
The Let’s Connect® team conducted a randomized clinical trial conducted in partnership with Aurora Mental Health Center in Aurora, Colorado to evaluate the effectiveness of Let’s Connect® as a strategic enhancement to Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) as compared to stand alone TF-CBT for children exposed to trauma and their families. This project was a cooperative agreement with Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Safe Start Promising Approaches Initiative and the RAND corporation. Coding of observational and interview data is underway to evaluate the impact of the these interventions on parent’s own emotion related skills (awareness, regulation), parents’ emotion communication skills, supportive quality of parent-child interaction, and child social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes.
The Let’s Connect® team, in partnership with Mental Health Partners and Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, funded/sponsored by the Family and Youth Services Bureau of the Administration of Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services, is creating the Community Collective for Youth and Family Resilience (CCYFR). The purpose of CCYFR is to establish sustainable implementation of evidence-based, dyadic, parent-child interventions for families impacted by domestic violence in two Colorado counties (Boulder and Broomfield), creating a model of successful implementation that can be scaled up across the state. The Let’s Connect model is a focus of this partnership.