Televised Foster Parent Training

Period of Performance: 02/07/1995 - 07/31/1995


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Northwest Media, Inc.
Eugene, OR 97401
Principal Investigator


The goal of this project is to develop, produce, and evaluate a televised instructional programming service (TIPS) for training foster parents. The televised curriculum will provide foster parents with continuing education that is of high quality, frequent, easy to access, and cost- effective. In Phase I, Northwest Media, Inc., will broadcast two 30- minute instructional programs on how foster parents can deal with difficult parenting situations. The broadcast will include a series of vignettes that depict child behavior problems. In the television program, specialists and foster parents will interact with the vignettes to develop knowledge and skills on problem-solving and child behavior management. The programs will be broadcast to 100 foster families in Oregon over a four-week period. A randomized control study will be conducted to assess the impact of programming on parent perceptions of children's behavior and on behavior management skills. A supplemental survey will be conducted to determine potential viewership. In Phase II, programming will include a wide range of topics in foster parent training and a variety of program formats. Broadcasting will be expanded to other regions in the United States. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: Foster parents are expected to meet professional standards for care. In many states, continuing is required for recertification. However, few materials exist that are specific to the needs of foster parents. Home-based television training can be a powerful adjunct to direct training because of its accessibility and appeal to parents, the low cost to service agencies, and the potential to present programming that is high quality and varied.