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Acad Psychiatry. 2013 Sep;37(5):308-12. doi: 10.1176/appi.ap.12080151.

Child welfare training in child psychiatry residency: a program director survey.



This study surveys child psychiatry residency program directors in order to 1) characterize child welfare training experiences for child psychiatry residents; 2) evaluate factors associated with the likelihood of program directors' endorsing the adequacy of their child welfare training; and 3) assess program directors' familiarity with some existing child welfare training and information resources.


Program directors of American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited child psychiatry residency programs were surveyed anonymously. Participants characterized their program's child welfare training curriculum and indicated their awareness of selected child welfare information and training resources.


In all, 68% of program directors responded; 90% of respondents indicated that their residents encounter child welfare-involved youth very frequently or frequently. Just over half of the respondents reported inadequate training materials, and half were aware of at least one of the three queried child welfare information resources. However, nearly 40% of respondents who were familiar with the queried child welfare resources still reported having inadequate training materials. Respondents with adequate training materials were more likely to classify their program as devoting enough time to child welfare training. Respondents at sites that spent less than 5 hours on non-didactic child welfare training during residency were more likely to indicate that not enough time was spent on training.


The findings of this study suggest that increasing child psychiatry program director awareness of existing child welfare information resources and providing 6-or-more hours of non-didactic child welfare training, two feasible and relatively low resource actions, may improve child welfare training in child psychiatry residencies.

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