Empowering Children with Hope and Opportunity: School Based Counseling and Social Work Services in Catholic Schools

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership


Department of Educational Administration


Meredith Wronowski


The Empowering Children with Hope and Opportunity (ECHO) program has collected data for 20 years. The ECHO staff has fallen short in using this data to clearly demonstrate any impacts and to engage in continuous improvement of the ECHO organization. Thus, the purpose of the current research project is to demonstrate how effective the counseling, social work, or social and emotional curriculum components are in the ECHO program. An embedded mixed method design was used to explore the impact ECHO counseling services has on student behavior and academic achievement, the effect the ECHO Family Advocacy program has on family stabilization, and if students are applying the skills learned from the social-emotional curriculum, Second Step®. The ECHO counseling services assisted in improving the teaching and learning climate and addressing the increase in student mental health needs. The interviews with the principals and parents demonstrated the success of students by sharing improvement with academics and behavior. The ECHO Family Advocacy program demonstrated a positive relationship with family stabilization by providing families with the resources needed or assisting them in making goals for themselves. The social and emotional learning curriculum, Second Step® data demonstrated no change from the pre and post assessment. There was no significant change in Skills for Learning, Empathy and Emotional Management, and Problem Solving. The findings of this study demonstrate the need for a school-wide initiative for mental health education, a parent education program, and a data driven social and emotional learning curriculum to improve the impact of ECHO's services.


School Counseling, Social Work, Mental Health, Counseling Education, Education, Mental Health, Social Emotional Learning, Data Informed, Education, Marianist Education, Schools, School-Wide Initiative, Parent Program, Curriculum

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2022, author.