An evaluation of the effectiveness of a parent-to-parent program in changing attitudes and increasing parental engagement in the juvenile dependency system
Parent mentor programs, which have helped parents with disabled children, are emerging in the field of child welfare as a means of engaging parents in the juvenile dependency process. Two current studies assessed a parent-to-parent program implemented in King County, Washington. Study 1 assessed a change in attitudes that occurred following participation in the program. Study 2 assessed differences in outcomes between participants in the program and parents who were invited, but did not attend the program. Results from study 1 suggest that there was a significant, positive change in attitudes following program participation—parents increased trust in child protection services, better understood the role of the stakeholders, increased their awareness of case issues, and increased belief that they had personal control over the case outcomes. A few gender differences were noted in attitude change; no race differences emerged. Findings from study 2 suggest that program participants were more engaged in the juvenile dependency court process, as evidenced by increased presence at court hearings, increased compliance with court ordered case plans, and increased visitation. Overall, the program appears to be effective in shaping parents' attitudes and improving parents' engagement in the juvenile dependency court process.
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- Wood, Steve M. & Russell, Jesse R., 2011. "Effects of parental and attorney involvement on reunification in Juvenile dependency cases," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1730-1741, September.
- Darlington, Yvonne & Healy, Karen & Feeney, Judith A., 2010. "Challenges in implementing participatory practice in child protection: A contingency approach," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1020-1027, July.
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