Positive Parenting in Foster Care: Testing the Effectiveness of a Video-feedback Intervention Program on Foster Parents’ Behavior and Attitudes

Nikita K. Schoemaker, et al - Children and Youth Services Review


The current randomized controlled trial examined the effectiveness of Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline in Foster Care (VIPP-FC) on parenting behavior and attitudes in foster parents (N = 60, 31 to 61 years, 83% female). The intervention group (n = 30) received VIPP-FC, consisting of six sessions. During the first four sessions, a specific theme from Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD; e.g., attachment vs. exploration behavior), and an additional foster care theme (e.g., subtle or missing attachment signals) are discussed. Each theme is discussed during the consecutive sessions and the last two sessions are booster sessions during which all themes are discussed. The control group (n = 30) received a dummy intervention consisting of six telephone calls about general child developmental topics. The Ainsworth Scales for sensitivity and non-interference, the Erickson scale for supportive presence, and the Questionnaire Attitudes towards Parenting were used to measure parental sensitivity, sensitive discipline, and attitudes towards parenting, respectively. The intervention and control group did not differ on demographic characteristics or outcome variables at pretest. Multilevel analyses based on the intent-to-treat principle yielded no evidence that VIPP-FC was more effective in improving foster parents’ sensitive parenting behavior or eliciting more positive attitudes compared to the control condition. We suggest that the outcomes in this study may be explained by a possible selection bias, which may have resulted in a ceiling effect. Future research might include foster families that experience more severe challenges (i.e., elevated levels of child behavior problems) or indicate a need for help and support.