Abstract: The Breakthrough Parenting Curriculum: A Pilot Study of a Training Intervention for Parents Involved in the Public Child Welfare System (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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16P The Breakthrough Parenting Curriculum: A Pilot Study of a Training Intervention for Parents Involved in the Public Child Welfare System

Thursday, January 12, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Jessica S. Strolin-Goltzman, PhD, Professor, University of Vermont, VT
Michael Hill JR, MSW, Doctoral Candidate, University of Vermont, VT
Background and Purpose: The NCTSN’s Resource Parent Curriculum has been available for almost a decade. The Breakthrough parenting curriculum is a corresponding curriculum for parents that incorporates a parent partner as trainer. The BPC is timely as our child welfare systems seek new solutions for battling inequities related to family preservation supports for parents involved in the child welfare system. The purpose of this poster is to describe results from a quasi-experimental pilot study assessing the effects of the BPC. The Breakthrough Parent Curriculum (BPC): Navigating Trauma Across Generations is a 10 module course based upon the NCTSN training called Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma: A Workshop for Resource Parents (RPC). The primary goal of the course is to educate parents about the impact of trauma on the development and behavior of children who have experienced trauma, while providing parents with knowledge and skills to support the well-being of their children and themselves. This study adds to the knowledge base by (1) describing a training intervention for birth parents involved in the child welfare system aimed at supporting well-being and family preservation, (2) analyzing changes in adult and child outcomes before and after training as compared to waitlist group, and (3) providing a summary of qualitative data from trainers on the training implementation and facilitation.

Methods: This pilot study methodology was a pre-post non-equivalent group design using a waitlist comparison group. Thirty-eight parents participated in the study across both groups. Each client was assessed using a battery of instruments that included both standardized measures and self-assessment questions. Assessment instruments collected data on demographic information, trauma and parenting knowledge, positive parenting skills, parent self-efficacy, parent well-being, parent stress, and child well-being. T-tests and repeated measures MANOVA were used in the statistical analysis.

Results: The intervention and waitlist groups did not differ on any key demographic variables (age, education, race, number of children). Significant between and within group differences were found in four of the six dependent variables of interest: Trauma knowledge, parenting skills, parent self-efficacy and parent well-being. No significant differences were found on parenting stress. For the BPC group, parent participants identified three more positive behaviors in their children, on average, each week from pre to post, which was a significant change. The same pattern was not seen in the waitlist group. Fidelity data was strong, with trainers completing 100% of activities for each module. Summary feedback on trainer perceptions of module content will also be provided.

Conclusions and Implications: On the whole, the pilot findings support the promise of the Breakthrough Parenting Curriculum for parents involved in the child welfare system. Many birth parents struggle with their own trauma histories and evidence from this pilot study suggests that the BPC may be effective at educating participants about the impact of trauma on the development and behavior of their children trauma, increasing parent self-efficacy and improving well-being among its participants. Future research, limitations and implications for social work practice will be presented.