The Impact of Internal Coaching on Providers’ Use of FGRBI in Part C Early Intervention

This project evaluates a peer-implemented professional development approach on the use of Family Guided Routines Based Intervention (FGRBI) and Caregiver Coaching by early intervention providers (EIs) in Part C of IDEA. When implementing FGRBI, EIs coach caregivers to embed evidence-based strategies with their child during family-identified routines and activities like getting dressed, playing on the floor before bedtime, playing chase with dad, and checking the mail to target functional developmental outcomes that are meaningful to the family. As the Early ACCESS program in Iowa aims to increase the use of FGRBI and EI’s fidelity of intervention delivery in a cost-effective manner, Area Education Agencies (AEAs) are training staff to become internal peer coaches that support others to use FGRBI.

This project examines whether the internal coaches’ use of a multicomponent, job-embedded professional development approach increases EIs’ implementation of specific caregiver coaching practices (SS-OO-PP-RR) and whether those coaching practices impact caregiver and child outcomes of infants and toddlers with communication delays in community-based programs. The evaluation is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (R324L180013). It is being conducted via a partnership between Florida State University’s Communication and Early Childhood Research and Practice (CEC-RAP) Center, the Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) – Early ACCESS (Part C) system, and Iowa AEAs who directly administer Part C services to Iowa’s children and families.

The multicomponent professional development approach includes online training materials on topics related to family guided practices, web-based video feedback via the TORSH Talent web platform, and twice-monthly coaching sessions with their internal peer coach. Participant EI providers measure their own fidelity of implementation, they receive comments on their videos from their coaches, and they participate in internal coach-led feedback sessions that aim to increase their use of FGRBI. The trained internal peer coaches use fidelity measures to ensure that coaching sessions are delivered to EI providers as intended. See Figure 1 for the processes followed by EIs during this evaluation. 

In this evaluation, we use a multiple baseline, across participants single case experimental design. The intervention is replicated across three sites for a total of nine EI providers and 18 families. Data will be analyzed via visual analysis and confirmed with the between-case standardized mean difference effect size.

The study’s findings are relevant to Part C programs and professional development researchers who use an implementation science approach to explore, install, and scale interventions for use in community-based settings. Examining the degree to which internal agents like internal peer coaches can create change in EIs’ use of FGRBI will allow us to determine whether the approach has promise for increasing the use of FGRBI within Part C systems.

Principal Investigator

Mollie Romano, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Florida State University

Co-Principal Investigator

Melissa Schnurr, Ph.D.
Iowa Department of Education


Juliann Woods, Ph.D., CCC-SLP,
Florida State University

Cindy Weigel, ABD
Iowa Department of Education


Erin Barton, Ph.D., B.C.B.A.
Vanderbilt University

Project Manager

Katrina Cripe, B.A.
Florida State University

Disclosure Statement: The authors have no other financial or non-financial relationships to disclose.  The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences and the U.S Department of Education through Grant R324L180013 to Florida State University.  The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.