COMMUNITY SERVICE/SUPPORT RESEARCH PROJECT (85 points total): The purpose of the project is for each student to learn from a family and a community service provider for young children with disabilities and/or their families in their local community. The Project Proposal must be approved by the course instructor prior to beginning the project.

The components of the project include:

1. Identify a family with a young child with a disability.
For example, use your personal and professional networks to help you identify a family with a young child with a disability younger than 6 years old. For example, I am going to call the mother of a child with an Autism diagnosis in kindergarten at my school. I’ll explain I’m working on my master’s degree and ask if she would be willing to share her experiences with having a child with a disability and services or supports that have been beneficial to him and/or their family as part of a class project.Professional Custom Writing Services from the Experts!

2. Write and submit project proposal for approval.
Once you have identified a family/child, submit a brief description of who, when, and how you will be complete the family meeting for approval. Also include a brief timeline for completing each component of the project.

3. Meet with the family (at least one parent/guardian) to learn about their child and experiences they have had with services/supports currently utilized or have utilized in the past in the community.
Take notes during or immediately following the meeting. Be sure during the meeting to find out about a service/support that has benefited the child and/or family for you to further learn about. The meeting should be at least at least one hour and must be in person. Additional information could be inquired by emails or phone calls but actual meeting must be in person. Questions to consider are below:

Family Meeting Questions to Consider
• How old is the child? For purpose of this project, the child should be younger than 6 years old.
• What are the child’s strengths?
• What are the child’s challenges?
• What was the process of identifying the disability like?
• What has been most challenging?
• What has been most rewarding?
• What supports or services have been the most beneficial for the child and/or the family?

4. Meet with one of the services/supports of interest where the family has experienced benefits (minimum 1 hour, face-to-face).
For example, during the family meeting I learned that the child has benefited from Equine Therapy across many developmental areas. The mom also mentioned she has benefited from the relationships she has formed with other families with children with disabilities that she has met at the program. I asked the family if I could observe an Equine Therapy session and I plan to contact the program to schedule a time to talk with an employee about their services.

Be sure to take notes during or immediately following meetings and/or observations. You may learn about the service/support in your community by interviewing, observing, or shadowing a service provider. Questions to consider are below:

Community Service / Support Questions to Consider
• What is the purpose or mission of the program?
• How did this service/support get started in our community?
• How is the service/support funding?
• What outcomes/successes have you observed among your clients?
• In what ways do you have a family-centered approach?

5. Find 5 peer reviewed research articles that relate to the child’s diagnosis and community service/support.
For example, based on my conversation with the mom, my journal article search will include: Autism Spectrum, Autism and Equine Therapy, benefits of Equine Therapy for children with disabilities, and social network support among families with children with disabilities.

6. Read and summarize 5 research articles on the disability/topic/service utilizing the Article Summary Form you will learn to use in class.
Start with 1 article. Be sure to look at the reference lists or within text citations to lead you to other articles that may be helpful. You will turn in your first article summary for feedback and then the last 4 altogether. See project due dates.

7. Develop at Outline based on the components within the written paper guidelines.

8. Compose a first draft synthesizing the research with your experience per the written paper guidelines.

9. Integrate feedback from instructor and complete final draft.

10. Create PowerPoint presentation.
Guidelines to be provided.

All components of the project are required in order to receive a final grade for the project.

Due Dates
See the course syllabus for due dates for each component of the project.

Points for Community Service/Support Research Project (total 85 pts)
Project Proposal 5
Article summaries (5 total) 25
Outline 10
Interview/Observation Notes 5
Draft Paper 10
Final Paper 30

Paper Guidelines
The paper should be in APA format and approximately 4 – 6 pages, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font.

Introduction (1 – 2 paragraphs)
• Purpose of the paper
• Brief description of child/family, diagnosis, and community service/support, and any other main topics.
• Roadmap of the topics to be discussed

Research Summary (4 – 5 paragraphs)
• Synthesize what you have learned from the research articles.
• Remember to include within text citations when summarizing information in your own words and quote properly when using an author’s exact words. Rely more on summaries using your own words than quotes.
• Allow your own voice in the writing to help the reader understand how you are making connections with the integration of the research.

Practice (4 – 5 paragraphs)
• What did you learn from your interactions with the family and the community service/support provider?
• Explain how your observed or learned experiences aligned (or did not align) with your research.
• Explain how your observed or learned experiences aligned (or did not align) with family centered practice.
• Based on your research what recommendations would you make to improve or alter the practices of the community service/support?

Reflection (1 – 2 paragraphs)
• Reflect on your experience with the family and with the service/support provider.
• Were you surprised by anything that you observed, learned, or experienced?
• What limitations should be considered?
• What future directions do you recommend?
• What questions are you left with for future direction in your studies?

Conclusion (1 paragraph)
• Summarize the purpose of the project, and key points from the research, practice, and reflection sections.

• List references in APA format.
• You must include the five research articles you found for this project.
• You may also include other readings from class as relevant.

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