This intervention study focused on teenage girls referred from the juvenile justice system. The study tested the effectiveness of Treatment Foster Care of Oregon (TFCO) compared to placement in group care on short and long term outcomes including participation in delinquency and in health-risking behaviors. In TFCO, the girls are placed with community foster families who are trained and supported to provide girls with good supervision, mentoring, and fair and consistent limits. Girls in TFCO also receive individual and family therapy, skill training, and academic support. They attend neighborhood public schools. In group care girls usually receive group and individual therapy, and go to in-house schools. Many girls in group care also receive family therapy. We also investigated how the relationships that girls have with significant others such as parents, friends, and mentors affect their short and long-term adjustment. The goal of the study was to better understand how the community-based interventions can help girls to be happy and to function well in their teenage years and in adulthood.Year Project Completed: 2008
Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Patricia Chamberlain, Ph.D.
Oregon Social Learning Center
Active Research Projects
Primary Research and Clinical Interests
Dr. Chamberlain’s interest in developing interventions for children and families emerged from her early work as a special education teacher. She has conducted several studies on treatment for children, youth, and families in the child welfare, juvenile justice, and mental health systems. She founded the Treatment Foster Care Oregon (formerly Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care/MTFC; www.tfcoregon.com) and KEEP (www.keepfostering.org) intervention models. TFCO is an alternative to group, residential, and institutional placement for youngsters with high behavioral and emotional needs. KEEP provides enhanced support and training to state foster and relative parents to prevent placement disruptions, improve reunification rates, and to reduce parent stress and child behavioral and emotional problems. TFCO and KEEP are being widely implemented throughout the United States and in Europe (see www.tfcoregon.com and keepfostering.org). Dr. Chamberlain has been the Principal Investigator on 9 randomized trials examining the efficacy of parent mediated intervention approaches. She has been the P.I. on two P50 Centers of Excellence. She currently is focused on implementation research with an emphasis on what it takes to integrate and scale-up evidence-based practices into real-world agencies and systems. Since 2012, she has led an effort to implement KEEP and Parent Management Training in the New York City child welfare system involving over 300 case workers and supervisors serving over 2,000 children and families at 11 sites (CSNYC). Currently, she is leading an effort to implement KEEP statewide in Tennessee as part of In Home Tennessee, their Title IVE waiver program. Other recent work has also focused on the development of intervention models for adolescent girls in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. In addition to working on research aimed at improving outcomes for youth and foster and biological families, she is interested in how to support child public service systems to improve the efficiency of their routine practices. Dr. Chamberlain is a senior fellow at the Society for Prevention Research (SPR), and was inducted into the first cohort of SPR Fellows in 2013. In 2017 she received the Prevention Science award given for leadership and promoting positive public health impacts.