Method: This study utilized a mixed-methods design to evaluate early implementation outcomes of adoption and feasibility of an adapted version of Resilience Alliance (RA), a 12-week psychoeducation group-based curriculum. RA teaches skills, such as identifying and regulating stress responses, self-care, and developing an optimistic mindset. RA groups were held for 60-90 minutes in 12 cohorts of 7-15 individuals representing six public and private child welfare agencies. Adoption (Proctor, 2011) of the intervention was quantitatively measured through descriptive statistics related to the uptake of the intervention. Feasibility (Proctor, 2011) was measured by the rate of intervention completion. Additionally, both adoption and feasibility were examined from the perspectives of participants. Utilizing a semi-structured interview guide, we conducted six virtual focus groups that explored study participants experiences of RA. 49 participants working as direct service providers, supervisors, and administrators in public and private child welfare agencies in a Midwestern state participated. Focus groups were video-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were uploaded to Dedoose, an online qualitative analysis tool. Modified Analytic Induction (MAI) (Bogdan & Biklen 1998) was used to conduct a comparative analysis in which coding structures were developed both inductively and deductively. Consistent with MAI, we began the study with the preliminary hypothesis that several early factors presented supports and challenges that contributed to the adoption and feasibility of RA. Also consistent with MAI, we simultaneously identified emergent themes in the data that were not preconceived prior to analysis.
Results: Results indicated that RA was successfully adopted. Descriptive statistics indicated that of the 173 participants who enrolled in the intervention, 97.1% consented to participate and 94.8% attended at least one session. Results indicated that while the intervention is feasible (82.6% completed the program), there are changes that child welfare workers feel would support improved feasibility. Qualitative findings identified three themes: (1) Supports and challenges for the feasibility of the RA intervention occurred at multiple levels (individually, organizationally, and systemically); (2) Supports and barriers to the adoption of the RA intervention occurred at multiple levels; and (3) Experiences with the RA intervention varied by job role among child welfare staff.
Implications: Despite the overburdened nature of the child welfare system, uptake of RA was high and that intervention is feasible. These findings suggest early implementation of RA was successful. Child welfare practice may benefit from further research examining the intervention’s effectiveness at increasing resilience and decreasing conditions that negatively affect child welfare workforces such as secondary traumatic stress.