Cascading Dissemination of a Foster Parent Intervention

Based on Research Conducted at OSLC

A study of whether parent management training could improve parenting practices, decrease out-of-home placements, and improve child functioning.

Project Overview

Children in foster care are at high risk for an array of current and future difficulties. The foster parents who are caring for these children often find themselves in the position of trying to help without enough training or support. This study examined whether providing foster and kinship parents with parent management training could:

  • Improve child functioning
  • Decrease child placement failure rates
  • Improve foster and kin parents’ parenting practices
  • Decrease the number of out-of-home placements

The study also focused on what it takes to transfer a successful program model from one community to another. The study was a collaboration between researchers at the Oregon Social Learning Center, the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center (CASRC), and the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).

Year Project Began: 2000
Funder: National Institute of Mental Health

Principal Investigator

Patricia Chamberlain, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist
Oregon Social Learning Center

Active Research Projects

Primary Research and Clinical Interests

Dr. Chamberlain’s interest in developing interventions for children and families emerged from her early work as a special education teacher. She has conducted several studies on treatment for children, youth, and families in the child welfare, juvenile justice, and mental health systems. She founded the Treatment Foster Care Oregon (formerly Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care/MTFC; and KEEP ( intervention models. TFCO is an alternative to group, residential, and institutional placement for youngsters with high behavioral and emotional needs. KEEP provides enhanced support and training to state foster and relative parents to prevent placement disruptions, improve reunification rates, and to reduce parent stress and child behavioral and emotional problems. TFCO and KEEP are being widely implemented throughout the United States and in Europe (see and Dr. Chamberlain has been the Principal Investigator on 9 randomized trials examining the efficacy of parent mediated intervention approaches. She has been the P.I. on two P50 Centers of Excellence. She currently is focused on implementation research with an emphasis on what it takes to integrate and scale-up evidence-based practices into real-world agencies and systems. Since 2012, she has led an effort to implement KEEP and Parent Management Training in the New York City child welfare system involving over 300 case workers and supervisors serving over 2,000 children and families at 11 sites (CSNYC). Currently, she is leading an effort to implement KEEP statewide in Tennessee as part of In Home Tennessee, their Title IVE waiver program. Other recent work has also focused on the development of intervention models for adolescent girls in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. In addition to working on research aimed at improving outcomes for youth and foster and biological families, she is interested in how to support child public service systems to improve the efficiency of their routine practices. Dr. Chamberlain is a senior fellow at the Society for Prevention Research (SPR), and was inducted into the first cohort of SPR Fellows in 2013. In 2017 she received the Prevention Science award given for leadership and promoting positive public health impacts.