220038 Evaluation of the parent transformations program: A spouse abuser treatment program modified and expanded to treat child abusers

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Paul Bukovec, LCSW , Elders Hall, Suite 5, Menergy, Philadelphia, PA
Marcy Witherspoon, MSW LSW , Director of Children & Youth, Institute for Safe Families, Philadelphia, PA
Sally Black, RN, PhD , Health Services, Saint Joseph's University, Harleysville, PA
Martha Davis, MSS , Institute for Safe Families, Philadelphia, PA
Sandra Dempsey, MSS, MLSP , Institute For Safe Families, Philadelphia, PA
Carrie Askin, LCSW , Elders Hall, Suite 5, Menergy, Philadelphia, PA
The Parent Transformations Program was a pilot treatment program offered by a community based organization, Menergy, with the goal of eliminating physical and emotional abuse among parents or guardians who acknowledged abusing their child. The pilot program was constructed as a hybrid of elements from partner abuser treatment protocols melded to a group approach using evidenced based, targeted skill building in core ego functioning. Potential participants were referred by child protection workers as either voluntary or court mandated. Participants were evaluated before the program with respect to personal histories of witnessing, experiencing and perpetrating abuse; risk and lethality assessments; and independent reports from partners and victims. Each client was pre-tested for those levels of psychological functioning that are associated with compassionate parental care. Basic constructs of the program focused on client accountability and psycho-educational learning. Experienced based learning sessions were conducted in overcoming negative parental entitlements, taking responsibility for abusive behavior, understanding and developing targeted ego strengths (i.e. building frustration tolerance, empathy, affect recognition and management, impulse-control) child needs in different stages of development, and responsibly adjusting parents' ego strengths and parenting skills to the child's developmental stage. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the efficacy of this therapeutically oriented parent program. Impact and outcome measures were designed to examine possible correlations between group psycho-therapeutic skill acquisition in the context of an accountability framework, and actual child abuse reduction. Results suggest promising future directions for perpetrator programs with similar core constructs.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
After attending the presentation, the learner will be able to: 1) describe core components of one intervention for perpetrators of family violence 2) evaluate efficacy of such a program 3) identify next steps in perpetrator treatment programs.

Keywords: Family Violence, Children and Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the program evaluator of the Parent Transformations Project
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.