• June 2006
  • Vol. 7, No. 5

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Co-parenting Training for Foster and Birth Parents

An innovative parent training program for foster and birth parents resulted in gains in positive parenting and showed promise for improving overall child and family welfare for families with children in foster care. The unique aspect of this program was a co-parenting component, in which foster parents and birth parents were paired for their participation. The training included positive discipline practices, collaborative parenting, and family systems strategies.

One hundred and twenty-eight parents (64 biological and foster pairs) of maltreated children placed in short-term foster care underwent the 12-week intervention or received usual care (the control condition). Outcomes at completion and at a 3-month follow-up were compared for the two groups in terms of parenting practices and child behavior.

Findings of this study indicate that biological and foster parents in the intervention group showed improvements in positive parenting practices, parental expectations, and collaborative co-parenting more often than those in the usual care condition. In addition, there was a trend for fewer child externalizing problems in the intervention group.

This study, "A Promising Parenting Intervention in Foster Care," by L. O. Linares, D. Montalto, M. Li, and V. S. Oza, was published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol 74(1), and is available on the website of the American Psychological Association at http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/ccp/74/1/32/.

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