Based on Research Conducted at OSLC
This study tested the efficacy of an intervention designed to strengthen the parenting skills of foster parents and to increase social skills related to preventing health-risking behaviors for youth in foster homes.
Adolescents in foster care are at high risk for a myriad of negative outcomes, including substance use, involvement in the juvenile justice system, participation in health-risking sexual behaviors, placement in restrictive care settings such as residential treatment care centers, and failed school performance. The primary aim of this study was to test the efficacy of an intervention designed to strengthen the parenting skills of foster parents and to increase social skills related to preventing health-risking behaviors for youth in foster homes in San Diego County. The study tested whether using a preventative version of Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO) reduces the likelihood that teens would (a) engage in substance use, (b) engage in criminal offending, (c) participate in health-risking sexual behavior, (d) be removed (i.e., disrupt) from their foster homes because of behavioral or emotional problems, and (e) miss or fail school. Two levels of intervention were tested; one level targeted improving the parenting skills of the state-supported kinship and foster families, and the second level targeted both foster/kin parenting skills and youth health knowledge and social skills. Teens ages 12-16 (and their foster/kin parents) were randomly assigned to one of two enhanced intervention conditions or to a “child welfare services case management as usual” control condition. Foster parents of study teens participated in weekly group meetings with well-trained and supervised paraprofessional facilitators, in which the curriculum was based on parent management training. For teens in the individualized skills training condition, sessions focused on increasing their skills at avoidance of health-harming activities and participation in healthy practices with an emphasis on commitments to prosocial peers and school, and refraining from substance use and sexual behavior.Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse