Parent Training during Child Welfare Visitation: Effects of a Strength-Based Video Coaching Program on Developmentally Supportive Parenting Behaviors
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During the Federal fiscal year of 2009, an estimated 3.3 million referrals involving the alleged maltreatment of children were received by child protective service agencies across the United States. Of those cases that received further investigation, approximately 686,400 children were placed in out-of-home care including foster and group facilities, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available research suggests that child welfare agencies provide parent training to assist parents in keeping their children at home or in achieving reunification in approximately 28% of cases. However, the use of parent training programs for families in the child welfare system has received little examination, and no study has examined the use of such practices during supervised visitation time for parents who have lost custody of their child. The present study evaluated the effects of a behavioral parent training program, titled Microsocial Video Parenting (MVP), on the parenting behaviors of mothers who lost legal custody of their children and were receiving supervised visitation at the Department of Human Services. Participants in this study were 4 mother-child dyads, with the child participants ranging in age from 1 to 3 years old. The investigator employed a within-subjects multiple baseline design across behaviors to examine effectiveness of the MVP intervention on increasing developmentally supportive parenting behaviors and decreasing negative parent behaviors. Results obtained across participants documented a clear functional relation between implementation of the MVP intervention and increases in developmentally supportive parenting behaviors. Social validity and contextual fit results also support the utility of this intervention within the child welfare context. Practical and conceptual implications, as well as future research, will be discussed.