If you have any problems related to the accessibility of any content (or if you want to request that a specific publication be accessible), please contact us at email@example.com.
Peer Mentoring in the Dependency Court System: A Process and Outcome Evaluation of the Parents for Parents Program
AdvisorMiller, Monica K.
AltmetricsView Usage Statistics
The child welfare system provides services to children who have been abused or neglected. The primary responsibility of the system is to ensure child safety and to provide stability and permanency for maltreated children. Historical perspectives of child welfare indicate that policies and interventions designed to address the needs of maltreated children reflect reactive rather than proactive policies. As understanding of child development and the needs of families evolves, so do policies and practices for child welfare. Child abuse and neglect can be understood in a social ecological context. Protective and risk factors at different levels (individual, micro, exo, and macro) interact to lead to the occurrence of maltreatment. In order to best address the needs of maltreated children, it is important to understand the social ecological influences that factor into maltreatment. Providing support for maltreating parents can help to address some of these needs. Parents for Parents (P4P) is an early engagement and education program for parents in the State. The current research uses a social cognitive theory, resiliency theory, and justice principles to evaluate the relationship between P4P and child welfare outcomes. In three phases of research (a process evaluation and two phases of an outcome evaluation), the current study examined the relationship between P4P participation and child welfare outcomes, and theoretical and implementation factors that might make the program successful. Results from the process evaluation reveal the program is generally implemented as planned, but the program only recruits about 25% of parents. Results from the first phase of the outcome evaluation suggest that P4P is positively related to reunification, service compliance, hearing attendance, and visitation compliance and negatively related to termination of parental rights. However, there is no evidence to suggest that P4P relates to time until permanency. The second phase of the outcome evaluation found preliminary evidence that suggests the education component of P4P might be an important contributor to parents’ success in the child welfare system. These results are consistent with work using a procedural justice framework. Overall, the results of this study join a growing body of research that suggests that peer mentoring programs can be beneficial for parents in the child welfare system and offers important preliminary insights into the theoretical components of the program.