Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care (PR-TFC) Pre-Service Curriculum

About This Program

Target Population: Prospective treatment foster parents for youth ages 12 to 18 years old with behavioral or emotional issues

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 12 – 18

Program Overview

Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care (PR-TFC) Pre-Service Curriculum is designed to be used by agencies to provide 30 hours of training to incoming treatment foster care (TFC) parents by going through all 12 units in the curriculum. Integrated multimedia resources within the curriculum include PowerPoint slides, video vignettes demonstrating therapeutic skills taught during training, and experiential activities (e.g., role plays). All trainers use the PR-TFC Pre-Service Curriculum training manual that provides clear objectives and requirements, and parents also receive a manual with training content, homework, and reading assignments. The PR-TFC Pre-Service Curriculum is a competency-based program rooted in social learning theory, behaviorism, working alliance, and trauma-informed care. The underlying beliefs of the curriculum focus on TFC parents as change agents for youth in their care. This means that TFC parents need to be taught that youth’s behavior can change and how to teach youth the skills necessary for effective living.

Program Goals

The goals of Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care (PR-TFC) Pre-Service Curriculum are:

  • Increase knowledge, empathy, and insight regarding treatment foster care, child development, trauma-informed care, and effective behavior management techniques
  • Improve parenting skills for working with youth with behavioral and emotional issues
  • Improve ability and commitment to succeed in their professional role as treatment foster care parents

Essential Components

The essential components of Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care (PR-TFC) Pre-Service Curriculum include:

  • Lessons for prospective treatment foster parents for children with emotional and behavioral issues about the following areas:
    • Roles and responsibilities of a treatment parent
    • Safety and supervision of children in foster care
    • Appropriate discipline of children
    • Normal child developmental stages
    • Effects of traumatic experiences on children’s development
    • Psychiatric diagnoses of children in foster care
    • Separation and loss that children in foster care experience
    • Effective Parenting competencies: social rewards, active listening, behavior management techniques, motivation systems, skill teaching
    • Managing conflicts in parent-child relationships
    • Managing crisis situations
  • Competency-based curriculum:
    • Provides 12 units with accompanying objectives to achieve desirable treatment parent competencies
      • Unit 1: Introduction to Treatment Foster Care
      • Unit 2: Professional Parenting I
      • Unit 3: Professional Parenting II
      • Unit 4: Understanding Child Development I
      • Unit 5: Understanding Child Development II
      • Unit 6: Developing Healthy Relationships
      • Unit 7: Therapeutic Communication
      • Unit 8: Understanding Behavior
      • Unit 9: Changing Behavior
      • Unit 10: Skill Teaching
      • Unit 11: Conflict Resolution
      • Unit 12: Understanding & Managing Crisis
  • Comprehensive curriculum package (available in English and Spanish):
    • The Trainer Resource Manual contains everything a trainer needs to deliver the preservice training:
      • All training units are fully scripted for easy reference to what a trainer needs to say or do
      • Each unit provides an overview of the core competencies that will be taught and a training agenda for the unit
      • A special section contains both trainer tips and various work tools for organizing and preparing for training and tracking participant progress
    • The Parenting Training Manual captures the core competencies of effective treatment parenting:
      • All units contain the essence of course content using summary readings, case examples, job aids, and worksheets to reinforce the transfer of learning into everyday practice
    • Trainer Resource Flash Drive features several multimedia files to customize and enhance learning:
      • PowerPoint presentations files and handouts are professionally designed and conveniently organized by training units
      • Reproducible parenting training manual available in PDF format for easy printing
      • Customizable work tools for trainers
    • Skill-Building Videos:
      • Over 50 video segments that can be incorporated throughout the curriculum to demonstrate the correct or incorrect application of one or more of the therapeutic communication skills taught in the preservice training
  • Flexible design and delivery:
    • The units are designed to be presented in sequential order, but the modular design allows for trainers to select any combination of units for a more customized series based on agency needs.
    • Each unit takes approximately 3 hours to present, which is ideal for evening and/or half-day weekend sessions.
    • The curriculum can be delivered in a group or individual setting either at the agency’s office or in the treatment parent’s home
  • Engaging instructional design:
    • The curriculum includes a variety of teaching methods including structured presentations, experiential activities, group discussions, and skill practice exercises
    • The integrated multimedia resources enhance learning and skill transfer through professionally developed PowerPoint slides and video vignettes that demonstrate the skills taught during preservice training.
    • The Parent Training Manual contains reading material, worksheets, and pretests and posttests to help reinforce learning before, during, and after the training units.
  • Affordable and sustainable Train the Trainer model:
    • The certification program is four days of training for trainers. After completion, participants will leave with the full curriculum package and be prepared to deliver the training in their agency.
    • The purchase price of the curriculum package includes registration for one person to attend the four-day Trainer Certification Program

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care (PR-TFC) Pre-Service Curriculum directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Prospective treatment foster parents for children with emotional and behavioral issues who lack the knowledge and skills to care for their unique needs.
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Alternative caregivers living in the home also receive preservice training so they can support the treatment parents in their roles and responsibilities. Participants are trained on the importance of, and ways to, include biological and extended family members in services. Biological families are provided with training content from program Treatment Coordinators and the treatment parents when possible.

Recommended Intensity:

2.5 - 3 hours for each unit, maximum of 2 units per training session each week

Recommended Duration:

6 - 8 weeks

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Foster / Kinship Care
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider

Homework

Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care (PR-TFC) Pre-Service Curriculum includes a homework component:

Training participants are given homework assignments at the end of training units. The assignments are completed before the next session and reviewed during the session.

Languages

Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care (PR-TFC) Pre-Service Curriculum has materials available in a language other than English:

Spanish

For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Meeting room that accommodates group size
  • Laptop/computer
  • Flash drive with PowerPoint and videos
  • Training manuals and handouts
  • LCD Projector
  • Speakers
  • Flip chart
  • Markers/ writing utensils

Education and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Bachelor’s Degree with two or more years of experience as a child welfare professional

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program, and there is training available for this program.

Pressley Ridge Institute. (2014). Pressley Ridge’s pre-service trainer resource manual. Author.

The manual can be ordered through the following methods:

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

Either at Pressley Ridge’s Operations Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, other Pressley Ridge locations as needed, or at the external agency’s location. Only designated and approved Pressley Ridge staff are used to train the 4-day Trainer Certification course

Number of days/hours:

4-day training: Typically 9 am - 4:30 pm each day (24 hours of direct training)

Implementation Information

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care (PR-TFC) Pre-Service Curriculum as listed below:

Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care Pre-Service Training Fidelity Scale outlining the core components of the training can be used to assess readiness to provide the preservice training. The scale can be obtained from Amy Strickler whose contact information is located at the bottom of the page.

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care (PR-TFC) Pre-Service Curriculum as listed below:

Formal support is optional. Pressley Ridge’s training department provides implementation support through teleconferencing or e-mail on an as-needed basis up to 6 months for an additional cost. Pressley Ridge’s Organizational Performance Department can provide support around fidelity monitoring and program effectiveness evaluation on an as-needed basis through teleconferencing or e-mail up to 6 months for an additional cost.

Fidelity Measures

There are fidelity measures for Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care (PR-TFC) Pre-Service Curriculum as listed below:

Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care Pre-Service Training Fidelity Scale is a self-report checklist that consists of 9 items that measure the core components of the preservice training. Each item is rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with higher scores indicating greater adherence to the fidelity component. Accompanying definitions to guide ratings for each item are provided. Cut-off scores are provided to determine areas for improvement. Scores from fidelity scales are reviewed by program leadership on a quarterly basis for quality improvement opportunities. The scale can be obtained from Amy Strickler whose contact information is located at the bottom of the page.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care (PR-TFC) Pre-Service Curriculum as listed below:

The Trainer Resource Manual provides implementation guides for the program. The manual can be purchased by contacting Michael Kaelin whose contact information is located at the bottom of the page.

Implementation Cost

There are no studies of the costs of Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care (PR-TFC) Pre-Service Curriculum.

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has not been conducted on how to implement Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care (PR-TFC) Pre-Service Curriculum.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcomes: Permanency and Child/Family Well-Being

Strickler, A., Trunzo, A. C., & Kaelin, M. S. (2018). Treatment foster care pre-service trainings: Changes in parenting attitudes and fostering readiness. Child & Youth Care Forum, 47(1), 61–79. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-017-9418-x

Type of Study: Pretest–posttest study with a nonequivalent control group
Number of Participants: 152

Population:

  • Age — Mean=46.90–48.34 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 21% White, 70% African American,1% Native American, and 1% Unknown missing data
  • Gender — 65% Female and 35% Male
  • Status — Participants were prospective foster parents.

Location/Institution: Easterseals UCP

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study aimed to determine if Pressley Ridge’s Treatment Foster Care (PR-TFC) is more effective than Model Approach to Partnerships for Parenting (MAPP) in increasing their parenting attitudes, personal dedication and willingness to provide foster care, and licensing rates. Measures utilized include the Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI-2), the Personal Dedication to Fostering Scale (PDFS), and the Willingness to Foster Scale (WFS). Results indicate that PR-TFC participants experienced significantly more change in two parenting constructs, and MAPP 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. PR-TFC participants were significantly more likely to become licensed as treatment parents than MAPP participants. Limitations include nonrandomization of participants, retrospective data analysis, and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Strickler A., Mihalo J. R., Celedonia, K. L., & Kaelin, M. S. (2019). Examining fostering readiness in treatment parents. Child & Family Social Work, 24(2), 183–189. https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12601

Type of Study: Pretest–posttest with a nonequivalent control group
Number of Participants: 57

Population:

  • Age — Mean=46.64 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 60% White, 38% Black, and 2% Native American
  • Gender — 61% Female and 39% Male
  • Status — Participants were foster parents.

Location/Institution: Easterseals UCP and Pressley Ridge

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study used a portion of the sample from Strickler et al. (2018). This study aimed to examine the longitudinal changes treatment parents experience throughout the Pressley Ridge's Treatment Foster Care (PR‐TFC) preservice training and after a youth is placed in their home using an archival administrative data set. Measures utilized include the Personal Dedication to Fostering Scale (PDFS), and the Willingness to Foster Scale (WFS). Results indicate significant changes for treatment parents' personal dedication to fostering, but no significant changes for their willingness to foster. PR‐TFC parents' fostering readiness scores were compared to a normed sample of foster parents and were found to be significantly higher for their personal dedication scores but not for their willingness to foster. Limitations include small sample size, missing data, nonrandomization of participants, and even though a comparison group of same‐age norms was used, it is unclear the type of preservice training those foster parents received.

Length of postintervention follow-up: Varies (Mean=1.73 years, Range = 0.44– 3.03 years)

Additional References

Ayub, A., Helburn, A., & Gibbs, D. (2018). State practices in treatment/therapeutic foster care. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). https://aspe.hhs.gov/system/files/pdf/259121/TREATMENTFOSTERCARE.pdf

Cooley, M. E., Newquist, J., Thompson, H. M., & Colvin, M. L. (2019). A systematic review of foster parent preservice training. Children and Youth Services Review, 107, Article 104552. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104552

Contact Information

Amy Strickler, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Pressley Ridge
Website: www.pressleyridge.org
Email:
Phone: (412) 992-0031
Michael S. Kaelin
Agency/Affiliation: Pressley Ridge
Email:
Phone: (412) 872-9446

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2019

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: May 2020

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: May 2020