Training Foster Parents to Be Teachers of Life Skills

Period of Performance: 08/01/2001 - 07/31/2002


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Northwest Media, Inc.
Eugene, OR 97401
Principal Investigator


The goal of the proposed project is to develop, produce, and evaluate a home-based multimedia training program for foster parents on preparing foster children for successful independent living. Phase I provided evidence of the approach's efficacy with one life skills topic. In Phase II, we will increase the number of life skills topics to eight; extend the instruction to a wider age range of children (8-18 years); and deliver the instruction via an innovative DVD-driven book format. This will involve producing print and DVD-Video versions of an instructional book. The print version will appear as a traditional book, with references throughout to the DVD-Video, which will be inserted at the back. The DVD-Video will cover essentially the same material, but will include interactive multimedia enhancements. Viewers can navigate to different portions of the program to see video sequences that model parenting skills. The printed book will provide parents with detailed written information, while the DVD version will be more audio-visually based, accommodating those with limited reading skills and bringing to life complex parenting skills. The nine-week training program will be evaluated with a nationwide sample of 200 foster parents. Outcome measures will include changes in general and topic-specific parent practices. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The proposed program will represent state-of-the-art training in foster parenting, both in terms of content and delivery system. NWM's marketing network in the foster care system includes over 14,000 agencies nationwide.