Parent–Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Training for Therapists Working with Mothers with Corrections Involvement

Mothers involved in the correctional system receive a variety of services, however few receive Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), which is a trauma-informed, evidence-based parenting program focused on facilitating attachment bonds, strengthening the family, and reducing challenging child behaviors, parenting stress and risk for child abuse. This is particularly concerning as child abuse risk increases greatly at the time of parent-child reunification which can be accounted for by high levels of family stressors. PCIT is an evidence-based treatment for young children (aged 2.5–7 years) with disruptive behavior problems as well as families with histories of harsh parenting practices and is now disseminated across many communities. PCIT has been shown to reduce disruptive behaviors to within normal limits in young children, additionally PCIT caregivers with a documented abuse history have shown fewer re-abuse reports at two years following PCIT than caregivers participating in standard community parenting treatment. Since its development, PCIT has been found to be a robust model and has been applied to an array of child and family concerns. This project will provide free training to 12 clinicians in Judicial Districts #2 and #5, who serve mothers with corrections involvement, in order to test the feasibility of PCIT delivered with community-based clinicians who work with corrections involved mothers.


Principal Investigator: Ashley Scudder

Funder: Byrne-JAG (Justice Assistance Grant)