Supporting parents to improve contact experiences for children in out-of-home care

Supporting parents to improve contact experiences for children in out-of-home care

9 October 2020

This study finds that supporting parents can be a simple and effective approach to improving contact experiences with children in out-of-home care.

This study was conducted by researchers from the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and the University of Melbourne.

The kContact study is the largest trial to date testing the effectiveness of a contact intervention (the kContact Pratice Model) in the out-of-home care context. The main component of the kContact Practice Model consisted of the key workers contacting parents before and after each contact visit to provide them with support. This support helped parents clarify their concerns and expectations about contact, and provided practical and emotional support for the next visit with the study child. 

The study demonstrated that the kContact intervention significantly: 

  • reduced the proportion of contact visits cancelled by parents, and
  • when the program was fully delivered, improved caseworkers’ receptivity to family contact, and parents’ satisfaction with contact.

More information via the ACU website.

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