Children of incarcerated parents: A design study to advance school counselors' knowledge, awareness, and understanding through a professional development experience

Date

2023-5

Authors

Schauer, Leslee Elone

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop an intervention to advance school counselors’ knowledge concerned with a deeper awareness and understanding of holistic supports for children of incarcerated parents. As such, a professional development experience for school counselors in South Texas was designed, developed, implemented and evaluated through this Dissertation in Practice (DiP). The study was grounded in both Theory of Action (ToA) and Theory of Change (ToC), and was divided into three phases to gather data needed to answer three guiding questions and achieve four intended goals. The study collected data from six school counselors and eight community stakeholders on their knowledge of children of incarcerated parents, the awareness of available community resources, and what supports were lacking in order to best serve children of incarcerated parents. From that information, coupled with scholarly and practical knowledge, a meaningful professional development experience was created and two iterations were delivered for school counselors in the region. Based on formative and summative evaluations, the results of the study indicate that after attending the professional development experience, school counselors had an increased knowledge and awareness of children of incarcerated parents and the available resources, but still lacked sufficient practical information on how to identify these students effectively.

Description

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership.

Keywords

children of incarcerated parents, professional development, school counselors

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