Bibliography: Silva, I., & Gaspar, M. Supporting Portuguese residential child care staff: An exploratory study with the Incredible Years Basic Parent Programme. Psychosocial Intervention, 2014. 23, 33-41.
Authors: Silva, Gaspar
Children in residential care have experienced high levels of social, emotional and behavioral difficulties and behaviour control by staff is an issue of concern. This study evaluated a parenting intervention, Incredible Years Basic Parent Programme (IY), delivered in Portuguese short-term residential child care centres. In a non-randomised control trial, two groups of staff carers (27 carers) received the IY program. Two other groups of carers (20 carers) didn’t receive any form of intervention. Self-report measures were used to assess carers’ child rearing practices, sense of competency, and depression levels. Measures were administered at baseline, 6-month and at 12-month follow-up. The findings indicate that each child care centre is a specific dynamic system and that the interventions didn’t have the impact expected on some variables. Groups that didn’t receive any intervention had some improvements on some variables. The main positive finding was the improvement at 12 months of empathic attitudes in one of the intervention groups and improved perceptions of the children’s role in the other. In conclusion, the incorporation of a training programme such as the IY in child care placements can be a valuable intervention and at least part of the answer in enhancing worker development.