Methods: This study uses data from 588 participants who have completed the classroom-based training and 286 participants who have completed the Right-Time training, across eight states as well as with those working with adoption service providers, between August 2020 and February 2021. The pre-post tests contained two knowledge items assessing each training theme.
Classroom: At pre-test, the classroom curriculum themes that participants had lowest average knowledge on were the impact of substance (26.1% average correct at pre-test), maintaining children’s connections with siblings, extended family members and their community (41.6% average correct), and trauma-related behaviors (49% average correct). Over the course of the training, the training themes that caregivers had the most knowledge gains in included trauma-related behavior (44% mean score increase at post-test), maintaining children’s connections with siblings, extended family members and their community (25.2% mean score increase), and trauma-informed parenting (25% mean score increase). The training topics that participants felt were most relevant, interactive, and attention-keeping (on a scale from 1=strongly disagree to 6=strongly agree) were foster care- a means to support families (5.6) and preparing for and managing intrusive questions (5.6).
Right-Time: At pre-test, participants much lower knowledge on one training topic in particular: sexual development and identity (52.9% average correct). Following Right-Time training completion, the training themes that caregivers had the most knowledge gains in included sexual development and identity (15.4% score increase at post-test) and sensory integration (11.5% score increase). The training topics that participants felt were most useful (on a scale from 1=not at all useful to 5=very useful) were building children’s resilience (Mean=4.5), accessing services and support (Mean=4.5), and common feelings associated with being adopted (4.4).
Conclusions and Implications: Overall, preliminary evaluation findings of the NTDC curriculum indicate that caregivers are making meaningful knowledge gains in a wide variety of areas and find the curriculum useful and relevant. This curriculum will be made available in 2022 for free for sites to use in preparing foster, kinship, and adoptive caregivers for their roles.