Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Child psychotherapy-Parent participation, Child psychotherapy-Residential treatment, Family involvement, Family-centered practice, Parent/caregiver involvement, Residential treatment centers


This study explored the experiences of parents and caregivers at their child's Residential Treatment Centers (RTCs). Family involvement has been widely accepted as a factor that benefits children in RTCs and family centered practice encourages parent participation in all aspects of a child's care, yet there is limited research on parents and caregivers' participation in two key areas at RTCs: the day-to-day care of their child and the treatment planning/implementation for their child. Thirty-four parents and caregivers of children in RTCs completed a mixed method survey which asked respondents to identify how they are or are not involved in the day-to-day activities and treatment planning/implementation of their children and their level of satisfaction with aspects of their involvement, including amount of involvement, decision making opportunities and interactions with daily care and clinical staff. Respondents also shared barriers and supports to their involvement, the impact their involvement in RTCs has had on their child and their families as well as advice they would give families and RTCs about involving families. The findings indicate that parents and caregivers have a range of involvement at RTCs and that they are more satisfied with higher levels of involvement, increased opportunities for decision making and when they have collaborative, supportive relationships with staff. Recommendations for enhancing family involvement practices at RTCs as well as suggestions for future research are discussed.




iv, 109 p. : ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2010. Includes bibliographical references (p. 89-93)