Date of Conferral





Health Services


Shanna Barnett


Research has shown that child abuse is a serious public health issue that may warrant child welfare agency intervention and removal of children from their homes. Placement with kin caregivers is considered the least restrictive placement option by social workers. It has been recognized that kin caregivers require some type of formal parental training to prepare them to care for relative children. A large city implemented the Caring for Our Own training program as prelicensing training to prepare relatives for roles as kin caregivers. Prior to this study, no research had assessed whether this training program adequately addressed caregivers' ability to adopt effective discipline practices in response to perceived child misbehavior. The purpose of the study was to examine how the Caring for Our Own prelicense training impacted kin caregivers' use of ineffective discipline practices, as measured by change in scores on the 3 subscales of the Parenting Scale. The theoretical framework for this study was based on Ajzen's theory of planned behavior. One-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed no statistically significant difference in kin caregivers' (n = 27) use of ineffective discipline practices as measured by the 3 subscales of the Parenting Scale over time. In light of this finding, the child welfare agency may create an evidence-based curriculum to assist in the development of competent kin caregivers. Social change to improve training and thus foster more effective responses from kin caregivers may occur within educational departments of child welfare agencies, through assessing and developing prelicensing kin caregiver training that allows for effective child behavior discipline management.