Project Summary

With support from Boston College Internal Funding – Academic Technology Innovation Grant (ATIG) the RPCA is working to create digital applications for the FSI-R manual. This includes an app for the interventionist as well as a family-facing app that can be used to engage families. This project has support from Sunand Bhattacharya, Associate Vice Provost for Design and Innovation Strategies. The proposed project leverages progress over the last two years to digitally adapt the Family Strengthening Intervention for Refugees (FSI-R) in order to: 1) increase functionality and interactivity of our digital apps; 2) conduct co-design with end-users to increase culturally- and linguistically- appropriate features for the client-facing app; and 3) conduct theater testing with a small sample of families from each community. Our ATIG funding has enabled us to support a multidisciplinary team of BC computer science students, MSW interns, graphic designers, and faculty to digitally adapt the manual used in the delivery of the FSI-R, replacing the paper manual that our CHWs currently use to deliver the intervention with families. We successfully completed the CHW-facing application and performed UI/UX testing, including Think Aloud methodology, to engage the end-users (the CHWs) in the design process. In the coming months, we are hoping to finalize the Alpha version of the application.


 Promoting resilience and healthy parent-child relationships in refugee families in the US (Somali Bantu refugees and Bhutanese refugees). The Family Strengthening Intervention for Refugees (FSI-R) was developed using a community-based participatory research approach as a home-visiting intervention ‘for refugees, by refugees.’ Using a strengths-based approach, the FSI-R aims to improve parenting strategies and communication, while also helping families navigate resettlement stressors and acculturative challenges. 

Measurement & Metrics

A total of 40 Somali Bantu (n 1⁄4 103 children, 58.40% female; n 1⁄4 43 caregivers, 79.00% female) and 40 Bhutanese (n 1⁄4 49 children, 55.30% female; n 1⁄4 62 caregivers, 54.00% female) families were randomized to receive FSI-R or CAU. Refugee research assistants conducted psy- chosocial assessments pre- and post-intervention, and home visitors delivered the preventive intervention. Multilevel modeling assessed the effects of FSI-R. Feasibility was measured from retention, and acceptability was measured from satisfaction surveys.

Key Findings

  • An 80-family feasibility and acceptability pilot with Somali Bantu and Bhutanese refugee communities in New England has been completed, demonstrating significant decreases in child mental health problems for both Somali Bantu and Bhutanese refugees and reductions in family conflict among Bhutanese families. A 300-family effectiveness trial is currently ongoing with the same communities.

  • This pilot indicates that a family home-visiting interventionadministered by refugees for refugees using a CBPR approach is feasible and acceptable. The retention rate of 82.50% is comparable to retention rates of other refugee interventions.

Principal Investigator

Project Support

This project has support from Sunand Bhattacharya, Associate Vice Provost for Design and Innovation Strategies.


Euijin Jung
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

supported by the Center for Social Innovation