Filling potholes on the implementation highway: Evaluating the implementation of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy in Los Angeles County

Susan Goff Timmer, Anthony J. Urquiza, Deanna K. Boys, Lindsay A. Forte, Daphne Quick-Abdullah, Sam Chan, William Gould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


In October 2012, first 5 LA funded a unique collaboration between Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH) and UC Davis PCIT Training Center (UCD PCIT) to train county-contracted agencies to provide Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). This $20 million dollar, 5-year grant represented the largest implementation effort of an empirically based treatment to date. The purpose of this paper was to describe the first 2 years of the implementation process of this project, beginning with project start up and pre-implementation phases, and to present agency training and client performance outcomes from our first year of training. Results presented in this evaluation suggest that it is possible to train LA County providers in PCIT, and that PCIT is an effective intervention for DMH-contracted providers in LA County. This evaluation also discusses challenges to successful implementation. Barriers to progress included unanticipated delays building county infrastructure, trainee attrition, and insufficient client referrals. We discuss the results of the current implementation with respect to theory, research, and others' training models, with the aim of evaluating and prioritizing different implementation drivers, noting the ongoing competition between knowing what to do and the need for action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-50
Number of pages11
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016



  • Evidence-based interventions
  • Facilitators and barriers to implementation
  • Implementation outcomes
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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