Psychosocial Treatment of Children in Foster Care: A Review

Antioch - New England Graduate School, EEN, New Hampshire, United States
Community Mental Health Journal (Impact Factor: 1.03). 05/2005; 41(2):199-221. DOI: 10.1007/s10597-005-2656-7
Source: PubMed


A substantial number of children in foster care exhibit psychiatric difficulties. Recent epidemiological and historical trends in foster care, clinical findings about the adjustment of children in foster care and adult outcomes are reviewed, followed by a description of current approaches to treatment and extant empirical support. Available interventions for these children can be categorized as either symptom-focused or systemic, with empirical support for specific methods ranging from scant to substantial. Even with treatment, behavioral and emotional problems often persist into adulthood resulting in poor functional outcomes. We suggest that self-regulation may be an important mediating factor in the appearance of emotional and behavioral disturbance in these children.

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    • "Interventions for foster children who have been victimized and homeless can be either narrowly symptom-focused or broadly system-focused (24). The few specific interventions designed for this population have not been well-analyzed because this population is particularly difficult to treat or evaluate (25). "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the high prevalence of substance abuse and mood disorders among victimized children and adolescents, few studies have investigated the association of these disorders with treatment adherence, represented by numbers of visits per month and treatment duration. We aimed to investigate the effects of substance abuse and mood disorders on treatment adherence and duration in a special program for victimized children in São Paulo, Brazil. A total of 351 participants were evaluated for psychiatric disorders and classified into one of five groups: mood disorders alone; substance abuse disorders alone; mood and substance abuse disorders; other psychiatric disorders; no psychiatric disorders. The associations between diagnostic classification and adherence to treatment and the duration of program participation were tested with logistic regression and survival analysis, respectively. Children with mood disorders alone had the highest rate of adherence (79.5%); those with substance abuse disorders alone had the lowest (40%); and those with both disorders had an intermediate rate of adherence (50%). Those with other psychiatric disorders and no psychiatric disorders also had high rates of adherence (75.6% and 72.9%, respectively). Living with family significantly increased adherence for children with substance abuse disorders but decreased adherence for those with no psychiatric disorders. The diagnostic correlates of duration of participation were similar to those for adherence. Mood and substance abuse disorders were strong predictive factors for treatment adherence and duration, albeit in opposite directions. Living with family seems to have a positive effect on treatment adherence for patients with substance abuse disorders. More effective treatment is needed for victimized substance-abusing youth.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Clinics (São Paulo, Brazil)
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    • "They expect a continuation of their abusive, neglectful experiences; they blame themselves for the abuse; and they have poor self-esteem (Boyd Webb 2006a). They carry a high burden of difficulties caused in part by the consequences of abuse, family breakdown, and being taken into care, and remain at high risk for poor long-term functional outcomes (Charles and Matheson 1991; Racusin et al. 2005). Young people in need often have difficulty focusing on and articulating their thoughts and modulating their affect, limited social skills, and trouble remaining grounded in the present moment (Hansen 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: We discuss preliminary findings from a study that investigated the effectiveness of a Holistic Arts-Based Group Program (HAP) for the development of resilience in children in need. The HAP teaches mindfulness using arts-based methods, and aims to teach children how to understand their feelings and develop their strengths. We assessed the effectiveness of the HAP by using comparison and control groups, and standardized measures. We hypothesized that children who participated in the HAP would have better scores on resilience and self-concept compared with children who took part in an Arts and Crafts group (the comparison group), and children who were waiting to attend the HAP (the control group). A total of 36 children participated in the study; 20 boys aged 8–13 years and 16 girls aged 8–14 years. A mixed-designed MANOVA was conducted using scores from 21 participants. We found evidence that the HAP program was beneficial for the children in that they self-reported lower emotional reactivity (a resilience measure) post-intervention. No changes were noted for perceptions of self-concept. Consideration should be given to how we can attend to young people’s needs in relevant ways as resilience is a condition of a community’s ability to provide resources as much as it is part of an individual’s capacity for growth. Programs such as the HAP can engage children in a creative and meaningful process that is enjoyable and strengths-based.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · Journal of Child and Family Studies
    • "and/or aggressive. Unfortunately, young people in need remain at high risk for poor longterm functional outcomes (Racusin et al. 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Research in mindfulness-based methods with young people is just emerging in the practice/research literature. While much of this literature describes promising approaches that combine mindfulness with cognitive-behavioral therapy, this paper describes an innovative research-based group program that teaches young people in need mindfulness-based methods using arts-based methods. The paper presents qualitative research findings that illustrate how young people in need (children and youth involved with child protection and/or mental health systems) can benefit from a creative approach to mindfulness that can teach them emotional regulation, social and coping skills, and that can improve aspects of their self-awareness, self-esteem, and resilience. KeywordsMindfulness–Group work–Creative–Arts-based–Young people in need–Mental health–Child protection–Self-esteem–Self-awareness–At-risk youth–Resilience
    No preview · Article · Aug 2011 · Child and Youth Care Forum
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