Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Donald Kincaid, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Norin Dollard, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Alison Salloum, Ph.D.


Child Welfare, PBIS, Residential Treatment


Residential care has evolved overtime from a system of supporting indigent children to care for those youth with mental health, behavioral, or medical disability diagnoses. Currently, in the United States there are 57k children involved in the child welfare system with approximately 14% residing in residential care. These systems have a long history of utilizing punishment-based, coercive techniques for managing problem behavior. Although these methods are thought to be further traumatizing for youth who have already been traumatized throughout their lives, the punishment-based techniques are ubiquitous throughout residential care. This study sought to evaluate the feasibility of adopting the School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) model to residential care for youth involved with the Florida child welfare system. During this study, two cottages at the facility met high PBIS fidelity and experienced a decrease in reported inappropriate behavior across daily behavior scores and incident reports. The results are promising and suggest PBIS can be adopted and implemented within residential facilities. Limitations and future research is discussed.