Child Connection Center Evaluation

Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs (WRI) at Rutgers University-Camden serves as a research and public service center for the southern New Jersey community, addressing challenges unique to New Jersey residents. The Pascale Sykes Foundation operates to strengthen family relationships in low income areas of southern New Jersey.

This study evaluated the outcomes of children receiving supports from the CCC as part of a model called the Clayton Model. This study measured students’ social, emotional, and behavioral functioning over time using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ: Goodman, 1997; Goodman, 1999), which is a widely used measure that utilizes teacher and parent report. This data provides clarity on the effectiveness of the CCC and furthers our understanding of the impact of school-based behavioral and emotional support services.


Both caregivers and teachers observed changes in student behaviors that highlight the importance of the context of students’ emotional and behavioral practices. Caregivers’ observations focused on emotional regulation and improved behavior, which makes sense as caregivers may pay closer attention to the way their children affect their home environment, while teachers’ observations focus on peer relationships, as the classroom environment is a more common place to observe social relationships. Results from waves I and II are fairly consistent. Both caregivers and teachers report reductions in social and emotional behavioral difficulties and that these reductions in difficulties positively impacted the child’s life.

The current study identifies the developmental benefits of the Clayton model. Evidence of the efficacy of the district-tailored SEL-PBIS, which the CCC has created and successfully implemented, is especially valuable as it relates to improvements in outcomes for tier 2 students, a group that has been understudied. The Clayton model combines the behavioral and emotional benefits of SEL-style models with a more holistic approach to the implementation of the supports provided to students.

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