Parent Child Interaction Therapy: Working Towards Reunification

Ericka Bustamante, LMSW
Erick Bustamante is a recent MSW graduate from UMKC, and a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society. Ericka also holds a LMSW and has a BA in Psychology, along with a Multicultural Certificate. Her passion is working with children that have experienced trauma and their families. Her most recent internship was with The Children's Place working in the therapeutic classroom and with the mental health therapists.

Focus Areas:


Level of Learning:


This presentation applies to families because anyone who feels that they need another effective tool to put in their toolbox can use this intervention. The Children's Place in Kansas City, MO uses this intervention with both biological families as well as foster families. Children that have endured trauma can have difficult behaviors and this intervention helps everyone, the adult and the child work together in a more cooperative and pleasurable way. This presentation is especially aimed towards case managers and staff that have the power to recommend this intervention as a part of a permanency plan. If they can realize the benefits of this intervention for the parent, and the actual practice that they are getting in using the skills in front of someone that can guide them to success then hopefully they will recommend this to the courts rather than the group classes for parents where this aspect is clearly lacking. Also for clinicians that would be administering the intervention, it is important for them to understand that they are a support system for the parent. Their goal is to help that parent (in the case of a biological parent) regain custody. That parent has not had good experiences with social workers before and this allows an optimal time to change their perspective and be a social support for that family. For administration the biggest aspect is that this intervention can tell a clear story. The evidence and statistics are there that show that this intervention works on a population that has few interventions that have been found to be truly effective. This population is vulnerable and if the goal is reunification in policy, then what's best for the child is that that parent is as prepared and educated on how to create positive change in the home as possible and this is where PCIT comes in.