Title page for ETD etd-11052004-153514

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Van Camp, Carole Marie
URN etd-11052004-153514
Title Behavior Analysis in Child Welfare: A Preliminary Program Evaluation
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
George Noell Committee Co-Chair
Timothy Vollmer Committee Co-Chair
Johnny Matson Committee Member
Kristin Gansle Committee Member
Nathan Call Committee Member
Gary Gintner Dean's Representative
  • risk analysis
  • parent training
  • applied behavior analysis
  • foster parents
  • foster children
  • program evaluation
Date of Defense 2004-10-29
Availability unrestricted
The Behavior Analysis Services Program provides behavioral services, in the form of parenting classes and individualized assessments and treatments, to children and caregivers receiving child welfare services throughout the state of Florida. The program has many goals, including decreasing placement disruptions and increasing parenting skills. This study was a preliminary evaluation of the program that is now in its fourth year. First, characteristics of both foster children and foster parents that were associated with differential levels of placement disruptions were identified. Results identified several characteristics (i.e., being of a certain age, or having been in care for a certain amount of time) may be considered risk factors or protective factors with regard to placement disruptions. Second, different aspects of the parent training curriculum, including acquisition of parenting skills following training, measures of client satisfaction, and measures of attendance and attrition were evaluated. Results suggested that the parent training curriculum was successful in teaching parenting skills, and that caregivers were satisfied with the training. In addition, caregivers who received incentives to attend the training or who where required to take the training displayed higher levels of attendance and lower levels of attrition. Strengths and limitations of the study are discussed with regard to the application of Applied Behavior Analysis principles and methodologies, within this largely service-based program, to the evaluation and treatment of key issues in the realm of child welfare.
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