A Study of School-Linked Services in Selected Project Success Pilot Sites in Illinois

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Virginia Tech

The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth explanation of the development of coordinated services during the last four years at a selected number of Project Success pilot sites, and to identify critical factors that emerged which are associated in the literature with effective school-linked strategies. The research questions guiding this study were: (1) What common elements developed that crossed all selected sites, and what individual differences emerged among the sites? (2) What organizational structure emerged among the multi-agencies at the selected sites? (3) What collaborative processes emerged across selected sites that facilitated the project? (4) In what ways did parents become involved in the implementation of the project? (5) What barriers or support were encountered in establishing and operating the sites?

The data collection for this study occurred in three parts: individual interviews with the Project Coordinators, focus group interviews with appropriate representatives of the pilot site projects, and notes from meetings of the Local Governing Board. A questionnaire that consisted of seven questions was used to collect data for this study.

Materials gathered during in-depth interviews were transcribed and analyzed after the interviews were completed. First, the researcher read the transcribed interviews and hand coded the consistencies and emerging themes on a large chart. Second, a matrix was made of the hand coded data using a word processor. Third, the researcher used the Ethnograph Computer Software Program to organize and code the data. From this data, the researcher identified themes, common patterns, and important stories shared by the participants regarding their experiences with developing coordinated services to meet the needs of children and families during the last four years. A narrative summary was written for each selected pilot site. Recommendations for further research are provided at the conclusion of chapter five.

Integrated Services, Pilot Projects, School-linked Services, Coordinated Services, Collaboration