Session: Peer Parent Programs and the Future of Child Welfare (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

142 Peer Parent Programs and the Future of Child Welfare

Friday, January 13, 2023: 3:45 PM-5:15 PM
Encanto B, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Child Welfare
Symposium Organizer:
Emily Saeteurn, MSW, Arizona State University
James Herbert Williams, PhD, Arizona State University
Child maltreatment impacts millions of children living in the United States (US) each year. During the 2019 federal fiscal year, approximately 3.5 million children in the US were involved in a child abuse or neglect report and close to 200,000 children were placed in out-of-home care (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2019). Due to the high number of child removals, meeting the needs of children and parents involved in a child welfare dependency can be challenging to case workers. Across the US, child welfare caseloads often exceed the standard identified by the Child Welfare League of America (17 active families per case worker) as well as the Council of Accreditation (maximum of 18 children per caseworker). High caseloads can contribute to case worker burnout and the ensuing attrition can negatively impact families (Chen, 2019). Due to the number of families involved in child welfare and high caseloads of workers, it is crucial that the child welfare system identify interventions that effectively address the needs of children and families and improve child welfare outcomes. One innovative intervention strategy, peer mentoring, has been gaining attention in the child welfare system. Historically, peer mentoring has been utilized with adults and youth in health, educational, and career settings; however, it was not until the early 2000s when the peer parent model was introduced in the child welfare setting. Peer parents in child welfare have lived experience navigating the system and engage with current child welfare involved families experiencing a dependency. Drawing from their personal experiences, peer parents provide support, hope, motivation, and resources to parents as they negotiate the child welfare system. The papers in this Symposium consider a peer parent program located in the southwest, including the experiences of the peer parents and outcomes associated with various aspects of the peer parent program. The first paper analyzes qualitative data from interviews with seven peer parents and four peer parent program administrators. The peer parents and administrators reflect on the roles, responsibilities, and experiences of peer parents in child welfare. The second paper evaluates one aspect of a peer parent program, the HOPE Class, which aims to provide child welfare families an overview of the stakeholders involved in a dependency case as well as the dependency process. Pre-survey and post-survey data are compared to determine whether parental knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy increase after attending a HOPE Class. The third paper examines the role of the peer parent and Team-Based Parent Representation (TBPR) in child welfare using qualitative data from interviews with 14 TBPR members. Additionally, descriptive analysis was conducted to determine the rate of permanency outcomes and multivariate analysis examined the contribution of variables related to reunification for participants in TBPR. Together, these three papers present research findings on the impact of peer parent programs in child welfare. Symposium participants will gain deeper understanding of the role of peer parent and the utility of peer parent programs in child welfare. Implications for further research will also be discussed.
* noted as presenting author
Roles, Responsibilities, and Reflections of Peer Parents in Child Welfare: A Qualitative Analysis
Lindsey Shine, Family Involvement Center; Emily Saeteurn, MSW, Arizona State University; Judy Krysik, PhD, Arizona State University; Natalia Vasiliou, MSW, Arizona State University
Assessing Parental Self-Efficacy, Attitudes, and Knowledge of the Child Welfare System through the HOPE Class
Emily Saeteurn, MSW, Arizona State University; Judy Krysik, PhD, Arizona State University; Natalia Vasiliou, MSW, Arizona State University; Deborah Mabingani, Arizona State University
Inclusion of Peer Parents in Team-Based Parent Representation: Child Welfare Dependency Cases
Judy Krysik, PhD, Arizona State University; Emily Saeteurn, MSW, Arizona State University; Shannon Burns, JD, Office of the Public Advocate; Natalia Vasiliou, MSW, Arizona State University; Karin Kline, MSW, Family Involvement Center
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