Project IMPACT

About This Program

Target Population: Parents with intellectual and/or significant learning disabilities (ID/LD)

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17

Program Overview

Project IMPACT provides intensive, in-home services for parents with intellectual and/or significant learning disabilities (ID/LD) who are risk for family disruption due to allegations of child maltreatment. Services are provided three times a week for six months. Program areas include basic child care, home and health safety, child management, and problem-solving skills. All skills are taught in a multimodal intervention format designed to meet a family’s particular learning style. Baseline, ongoing, and postintervention data is collected on both parent and home functioning.

Program Goals

The goals of Project IMPACT are:

  • Increase parent skill level of parents with ID/LD
  • Improve levels of parent functioning
  • Improve quality of home environment
  • Reduce foster care placement

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Project IMPACT.

Essential Components

The essential components of Project IMPACT include:

  • Home-based, individualized services at an intensive level (3 days a week, 1-1.5 hrs per session, 4-6 months)
  • Instruction in 8 skill areas, covering child care, parent/child interaction, and safety
  • Skills instruction using a combination of verbal and visual instruction
  • Ongoing opportunities for in-vivo modeling, practice, and repetition
  • Assessment of skills at baseline and subsequent time points
  • Supplies given to families to supplement skills being taught
  • Opportunities for families to practice (and be observed) using skills during community visits (to school, doctor, grocery store, etc.)
  • Available to parents with children of all ages
  • Completion of client and caseworker satisfaction surveys with each family
  • A 3-month follow-up to track if learned skills are maintained

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

Project IMPACT directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Parents with intellectual and/or significant learning disabilities (ID/LD) who are likely to have less developed abilities on a variety of child care skills than parents without such disabilities and at greater risk of causing child maltreatment
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: When possible/appropriate, families are encouraged to participate in sessions/appointments with the client. Additionally, the majority of clients involved in the program begin participating in family network meetings, which is a community-based process that encourages clients to seek out ongoing, monthly support from friends, family, and community providers.

Recommended Intensity:

Three 60-90 minute sessions per week

Recommended Duration:

4-6 months

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Birth Family Home


Project IMPACT includes a homework component:

After a particular skill is taught/reviewed, a parent is encouraged to practice the skill by completing one or more specific tasks. As an example, if a parent is learning the skill of medical advocacy, they may be encouraged to contact their child’s doctor for an appointment prior to the next session.


Project IMPACT has materials available in a language other than English:


For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

As the program is home-based, there are minimal on-site resources necessary. In order to teach skills in a multi-modal format, however, multiple resources are used off-site, including a portable DVD player, video camera, and wireless internet access. Families are given supplies when taught specific skills (such as cabinet locks and outlet covers when learning about home safety) and incentives when they demonstrate that they are trying to implement skills (such as gift card).

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Service providers should have a Master’s level degree, as well as experience in working with individuals with intellectual disabilities. Given the types of assessments utilized in the program, supervisor would ideally be a doctoral-level psychologist.

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Training can be provided onsite or trainer is available to travel.

Number of days/hours:

2-day training

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Rao , T. (2013). Implementation of an intensive, home-based program for parents with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 7(5), 691-706.

Type of Study: One group retrospective pretest/posttest study
Number of Participants: 50 families (107 children)


  • Age — Adults: Mean=33 years, Children: Mean=6 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Adults: 50% Black, 32% Hispanic, and 18% White; Children: Not specified
  • Gender — Adults: 86% Female and 14 % Male; Children: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were families with an open child welfare services case due to one or more reports of suspected child maltreatment.

Location/Institution: Westchester Institute of Human Development in Valhalla, New York

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This article describes findings from the Project IMPACT program, an intensive home-based program for parents with intellectual disabilities where there have been one or more reports of child abuse or neglect. Data are reported on the families who fully participated in Project IMPACT from 2006 to 2012. Measures included the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, Second Edition (Vineland-2), HOME Inventory, Parenting Stress Index (PSI), and the Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAP). Results indicate that improvements were noted in 8 of 10 parenting skill areas taught (communication, feeding an older child, home management, infant child care, parent/child interaction, planning/problem solving, time out, and toileting). Of the 36 families where 1-year family status was available, 97% remained intact at one year following the end of Project IMPACT services. Limitations include the lack of a comparison or control group, the limited data collected at postintervention follow-up, and concerns regarding the use of standardized measures that were not designed for parents with intellectual disabilities.

Length of postintervention follow-up: Varied.

Additional References

No reference materials are currently available for Project IMPACT.

Contact Information

Trupti Rao, PsyD
Agency/Affiliation: Westchester Institute for Human Development
Phone: (914) 493-8141
Fax: (914) 493-1023

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: February 2014

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: July 2020

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2014