Is Online Training an Effective Workforce Development Strategy for Transition Service Providers? Results of a Comparative Study

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Service providers working with transition-aged young people with mental health disorders require specialized research-based training to better meet their needs. A 10-module interactive online training program, Promoting Positive Pathways to Adulthood (PPPA), was developed to build service provider competencies to improve outcomes for the youth with whom they work. In total, 19 organizations participated in a longitudinal quasi-experimental study that compared training outcomes for participants receiving PPPA online training only (Group 1) with those receiving PPPA online training with team-based practice activities (Group 2). Most of the 63 service providers participating in the training were females, below 40 years, had at least one college degree, and were non-Hispanic White. Both groups made significant gains in their transition-related knowledge, and their self-efficacy to provide transition services. Group 2 with additional practice activities achieved significantly higher knowledge scores than Group 1 receiving online-only training. Team-based activities evaluated by Group 2 participants as more engaging and culturally relevant were also rated as more likely to help improve practice. Future research is needed to track youth outcomes after service provider training, and to examine the organizational supports necessary to promote knowledge translation for transition service providers. © Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2018.

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Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders



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