Date of Conferral



Doctor of Social Work (DSW)




Donna B. DiMatteo-Gibson


The increased prevalence of children’s mental illness and the need for community-based treatment with enhanced outcomes is propelling the need to improve children’s mental health treatment to the forefront of children’s mental health policy reform. Including parental involvement in children’s mental health treatment increases the possibility of improved treatment outcomes. However, policy, social, attitudinal, and fiscal factors have affected the strategies used to overcome the barriers to facilitating parental involvement. The purpose of this in-depth qualitative case study was to understand the strategies that one mental health agency used to overcome the barriers to facilitating parental involvement in the psychosocial treatment of their children. The Baldrige excellence framework served as the study’s conceptual framework. Data collection occurred from semistructured interviews with 5 members of the agency senior leadership team, agency archival data, and public and government websites. These data were triangulated and then analyzed using inductive NVivo coding and thematic analysis software. Results indicated that policy, social, funding, and attitudinal factors affected strategy barriers and supports; leadership, communication, services, and measurement were important elements in overcoming the barriers, and that although some recommended strategies required additional funding, others did not. Implementing strategies to overcome parental involvement barriers in their children’s psychosocial treatment may create social change by redirecting children’s mental health treatment to a dual-focus (parent-child) treatment process and developing a long-term sense of well-being that reflect improved children’s mental health outcomes and have the potential to reduce future health care costs.