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Effects of a Foster Parent Training Intervention on Placement Changes of Children in Foster Care

NCJ Number
Child Maltreatment Volume: 13 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2008 Pages: 64-75
Date Published
February 2008
12 pages

This investigation examines the impact of a foster parent training and support intervention (KEEP) on placement changes, and determines whether the intervention mitigates placement disruption risks associated with children's placement histories.


The results indicate that incorporating intervention approaches based on the KEEP parent management training model and child welfare services may improve placement outcomes for children in foster care. Placement instability serves as an important risk factor for future placement disruptions, and reinforces the importance of reducing placement disruptions for children who enter the foster care system. A history of placement instability could be used to identify children who are at risk for future placement disruptions and should be targeted for intervention. The findings suggest that intervention approaches based on a parent management training model, which focuses on increasing parenting competencies in managing difficult behavior problems, might be effective in reducing child behavior problems and improving caregivers' skill in coping with these problems, and thereby reduce the likelihood of placement disruptions. The KEEP intervention model, which shares similarities with several evidence-based interventions aims at improving outcomes for children with behavioral and emotional problem, focuses on improving caregiver understanding and competencies in managing child behavior. The integration of parent mediating interventions into regular foster parent training or a supplemental training for those caring for child with challenging behavior problems could help to provide at-risk children with a stable and safe environment essential for normal development and functioning. Implementation of such interventions could help to improve the overall quality of mental health care for children and their families and potentially help reduce financial costs associated with placement disruptions which undermine efforts of child welfare agencies to promote safety, permanency, and child well-being. The sample included 700 families with children between ages of 5 and 12 years from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Families were randomly assigned to the intervention or control condition. Results from the current investigation provide several implications for child welfare policy and practice. Tables, figures, references

Date Published: February 1, 2008