Using Follow-Up Coaching to Increase Self-Efficacy in Foster and Adoptive Parents Using Trauma-Informed Approaches with Their Children

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


Psychology and Special Education

Date of Award

Fall 2020


Thousands of parents make the decision to foster and/or adopt children who have suffered various forms of abuse and neglect. There are hundreds of thousands of children who are waiting to be adopted or to be placed in foster care (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2016). Many of them are older children who embody traumatic experiences that affect their cognitive and emotional development (Keck & Kupecky, 2014). Providing support and sound training for adults who are caring for children who have distressing histories is vital. Foster and adoptive parents must be aware of the complex needs of their children, and how to provide intervention to ensure proper growth and success for their futures (Buehler, Rhodes, Orme, & Cuddeback, 2006). Often foster and adoptive parents attend hours of training to educate them on how support the children in their care. When they get home to implement all they have learned, parents can become overwhelmed by maladaptive behaviors exhibited by their children. The study focused on using a coaching model to follow up and support parents who have completed trauma-informed training and are implementing the skills with their children. The impact of follow-up coaching sessions using a telehealth approach was also measured. Additionally, the researcher investigated the level of parent self-efficacy before and after the training and coaching sessions. Results indicated the follow-up telehealth coaching significantly improved parent self-efficacy in using trauma-informed interventions with their children. Furthermore, parents reported being interested in receiving more coaching sessions and would also consider using telehealth services. The relationship between parent attachment styles and parent self-efficacy was not significant. Additionally, there was not a significant correlation between parent self-efficacy and reported trauma symptoms in their children. Future studies could focus on following up with participants in 3-6 months to inquire the level of efficacy after implementing learned skills for that period of time after receiving parent coaching. Another idea to investigate would be to dive into the specific impact of the different elements of the trauma-informed parent coaching. Finally, replicating this study to include biological families would be an area of interest.


Kelly Carrero

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Psychology