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28-08-2020 | Original Paper

Equipping TFC Parents as Treatment Providers: Findings from Expert Interviews

Journal of Child and Family Studies
Bethany R. Lee, Danielle R. Phillips, Rochon K. Steward, Suzanne E. U. Kerns
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As U.S. policy and practice further constrains the prevalence of residential treatment for youth with emotional and behavior challenges, treatment foster care (TFC) placements are expected to expand and serve challenging youth who were previously receiving group care placement. Treatment foster parents play an essential role in the delivery of TFC and its potential to be a transformative and healing environment for youth. Using qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews from 23 experts in TFC practice as well as more general child welfare training and implementation science, this paper seeks to build knowledge around the training and support needs of TFC parents from the perspectives of TFC experts. Findings suggest the importance of TFC parents viewing themselves as treatment providers and not just parents. They need to have competencies specific to working as a member of a treatment team, knowledge of public systems, and skills to manage youth challenging behaviors. Best practices in equipping TFC parents should follow adult learning principles that focus on experiential learning with peer support and ongoing coaching or reinforcement.

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