This project will examine the impact of a 12.5-year-long, relationship-based, professional mentoring program, Friends of the Children (FOTC), within the context of an existing multisite randomized controlled trial (RCT; FOTC versus control). The research trial (The Child Study) was funded by the National Institutes of Health through the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development from 2007-2013. The study uses a rigorous RCT design that includes two assessments of all of the active participants in The Child Study, a sample of low-income, ethnically diverse, at-risk, urban youth. SDRG will also collect data from caregivers and administrative staff from schools, and other records at the endpoint. Implementation data collected by FOTC will also be used in the analysis. Using intent-to-treat analyses, this study will examine program impacts in three primary outcomes—avoidance of involvement in juvenile justice, graduation from high school or obtaining a GED, and delaying parenthood into young adulthood, at the program endpoint and 2 years later. We will explore whether hypothesized mechanisms of increased social capital mediate the relationships between intervention and outcomes. We will also examine the relationship between various levels of program involvement in FOTC and program impact.


National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
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Project Director: Martie Skinner