Program Evaluation and Research


Guidelines for the Psychosocial Treatment of Intrafamilial Child Physical and Sexual Abuse

The National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center of the Medical University of South Carolina and the Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress of Harborview Medical Center have developed Guidelines for the Psychosocial Treatment of Intrafamilial Child Physical and Sexual Abuse through a cooperative agreement funded by the Office of Victims of Crime of the U.S. Department of Justice.

"Family, Parent-child And Parent-Focused Interventions"
Family Preservation Services Prepared by Charlotte Booth, MSW

Brief Description:
A brief, home-based multiple component intervention designed to prevent child out of home placement and reduce risk for child maltreatment by changing behaviors and increasing skills. Treatment components are primarily cognitive-behavioral and matched to identified problem areas.

Theory and Rationale
Families where there has been child abuse or are at high risk often experience problems in functioning that can lead to child placement. Parental skill deficits and psychiatric conditions, child behavior problems, and dysfunctional or violent family relationships contribute to the possibility of family disruption. The HOMEBUILDERS program and similar programs use a cognitive behavioral framework to explain the variety of behavioral dysfunctions. The intervention approach consists of the individualized in-home application of a variety of cognitive behavioral and skill-building strategies that target the specific problems that are identified in the family and that create imminent risk of out-of-home placement. The specific strategies used have extensive empirical support (Ammerman, et. al., 1999; Patterson, et. al., 1982; Wahler and Dumas, 1987; Phillips, et. al., 1976; Alexander and Parsons, 1973, 1982; Gorman, Kniskern, & Pinsof, 1986). Research has supported the effectiveness of intensive, time-limited, in-home services for preventing out-of home placement and other family disruptions; reducing child abuse/neglect and family violence; improving parenting skills, family functioning and children's behavior problems; and enhancing social and community supports (Fraser, et. al., 1991; Feldman, 1990; Yuen, et. al., 1990; Henggeler, et. al., 1995; Veerman, et. al. 1997).

Treatment Components:
Service provision in the client home
Engagement and relationship building through Rogerian listening techniques
Behavioral assessment of client strengths and needs
Goal-oriented service planning
Cognitive-behavioral parenting and problem solving techniques
Life-skills training
Provision of concrete services (e.g., assistance with housing)
Building client social support networks
Motivational Interviewing and relapse prevention strategies for parents with substance abuse problems

Treatment Manuals or Protocol Descriptions:
Kinney, J.M., Haapala, D., and Booth, C.L. (1991). Keeping Families Together: The HOMEBUILDERS Model. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

Tracy, E.M., Haapala, D.A., Kinney, J., and Pecora, P.J. (Eds.) (1991). Intensive Family Preservation Services: An Instructional Sourcebook. Cleveland, OH: Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University.

Whittaker, J.K., Kinney, J.M., Tracy, E.M. Booth, C.L. (Eds.) (1990). Reaching high-risk families: Intensive family preservation in human services. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

Treatment Outcome Study References:
English, D. (1999). Family Preservation Services and Intensive Family Preservation Services Evaluation Progress Report. Office of Children's Administration Research, State of Washington.

Fraser, M.W., Walton, E., Lewis, R.E., Pecora, P., & Walton, W. (1996). An Experiment in Family Reunification: Correlates of Outcomes At One-Year Follow-Up. Children and Youth Services Review, 16, 335-361.

Fraser, M.W., Pecora, P.J., & Haapala, D.A. (1991). Families in Crisis: The Impact of Intensive Family Preservation Services. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

Haapala, D.A., & Kinney, J.M. (1988, September). Avoiding out-of-home placement among high-risk status offenders through the use of home-based family preservation services. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 15, 334-348.

Veerman, J.W., de Kemp, R.A.T., & Brink, L.T. (1997). Evaluation Study of Families First The Netherlands. The Netherlands Institute of Care and Welfare.

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