Child & Youth Care Forum

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 61–79 | Cite as

Treatment Foster Care Pre-service Trainings: Changes in Parenting Attitudes and Fostering Readiness

  • Amy Strickler
  • Annette C. Trunzo
  • Michael S. Kaelin
Original Paper



Pre-service training of treatment parents is a requirement for all foster care models to ensure safety and well-being of children in care. Researchers theorize treatment parents benefit more from enhanced pre-service trainings; however, no rigorous studies exist indicating the effectiveness of these trainings for treatment parents.


This quasi-experimental study aimed to determine if an enhanced pre-service training developed for treatment parents (n = 71) is more effective than a basic pre-service training (n = 81) in increasing their parenting attitudes, personal dedication and willingness to provide foster care, and licensing rates.


Secondary data analyses were performed on an archival dataset that included demographic information and training participant scores from three standardized measurements before and after pre-service trainings: Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI-2), Personal Dedication to Fostering Scale, and Willingness to Foster Scale. Licensing status as a treatment parent at the end of the pre-service training was also available in the dataset.


Pre/post analyses revealed enhanced pre-service training participants experienced significantly more change in two parenting constructs, and basic pre-service training participants experienced significantly more change in one parenting construct. There were no significant differences between groups in changes in personal dedication or willingness to provide foster care. Enhanced pre-service training participants were significantly more likely to become licensed as treatment parents than basic pre-service training participants.


The findings suggest an enhanced pre-service training may have potential impact on changing some parenting attitudes and an increased licensing status as a treatment parent.


Pre-service training Treatment foster care Foster care training outcomes Foster parent competencies 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Standard

This study was approved as an exempt study by Duquesne University’s Institutional Review Board, there was no interaction with research participants.

Access to Data

The first author takes responsibility for the integrity and accuracy of the data analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pressley RidgePittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Pressley RidgePittsburghUSA

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