Feasibility, acceptability, and effects of a peer support group to prevent child maltreatment among parents experiencing homelessness
Haskett, M. E., Okoniewski, C., Montgomery Armstrong, J., Galanti, S., Lowder, E., Jessica, L., & Lanier, P. (2017). Feasibility, acceptability, and effects of a peer support group to prevent child maltreatment among parents experiencing homelessness. Children and Youth Services Review, 73, 187-196. Article 012. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.12.012
Parents and children experiencing an episode of homelessness face a variety of adverse factors that can increase their risk of difficult relationships and even child maltreatment. Parent support programs have been suggested as one way to strengthen parent-child relationships and decrease risk of child maltreatment for this vulnerable population, but such programs have not been rigorously evaluated. This study was designed to investigate if Circle of Parents, a self-help support group developed to decrease child maltreatment, was a feasible, acceptable, and effective intervention for parents residing in shelters (N = 80). The investigation utilized a quasi-experimental design using propensity score analysis with a services-as-usual comparison group. The Protective Factors Survey (PFS) and a client satisfaction questionnaire served as the primary outcome measures and group facilitators provided information about feasibility of the intervention within shelters. Promising evidence was found for the acceptability and feasibility of Circle of Parents. However, analyses of PFS data showed little difference between the intervention and services-as-usual comparison groups. Overall, findings pointed to emerging positive findings but underscored the need for continued controlled examination of the effectiveness of Circle of Parents implemented in shelters and transitional housing. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.