Date Approved

5-7-1996

Embargo Period

9-7-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in School Psychology

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Klanderman, John

Subject(s)

Family services--United States; Home-based family services--United States; Juvenile delinquents--Services for--United States

Disciplines

Educational Psychology

Abstract

This research reports placement outcomes at 6 months post intervention for a sample of sixty families enrolled in a family preservation program. Families with at least one child who is "at imminent risk" of being placed in the community participated in the family preservation program. During the intervention, families were introduced to several skills(communication and discipline skills) that would enable them to diffuse any crises that may arise due to parent/child conflict. After the families successfully completed the intervention, forty were referred to either another in-home based counseling program or outpatient therapy. Twenty families received no aftercare services. Follow-ups were performed on the subjects six months after termination. Families who were involved with the intensive in-home therapy had more children who remained with their biological parents and fewer children placed by the courts, DYFS, or family crisis within a six month period. It appears in-home therapy had a larger impact on a family than outpatient counseling. The in-home therapist is able to provide emotional support, reinforce the use of the skills in a more natural setting and can be present when a crisis erupts. The study suggests families who are referred to intensive family preservation programs are able to begin to change in 4 to 6 weeks, but still need long term therapy to maintain the success accomplished during the short term intervention.

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