Enhancing Adoptive Parenting

Scientific Rating:
NR
Not able to be Rated
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
High
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Enhancing Adoptive Parenting has been reviewed by the CEBC in the area of: Post-Permanency Services, but lacks the necessary research evidence to be given a Scientific Rating.

Target Population: Adoptive parents who have recently had a child from the foster care system placed with them; the child should be between 4 and 9 years old, have been placed with the adoptive family within the last year, and have serious psycho-social difficulties.

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 4 – 9

Brief Description

Enhancing Adoptive Parenting is adapted to meet the specific needs of adopters of children placed late from the foster care system. The aim is to enhance adoptive parenting by advice and discussion rather than via a training program.

The program helps adopters to acquire behavior management skills for dealing with the more intense problem behavior exhibited by maltreated children. It also aims to improve the adopter's understanding of the meaning of the child’s current behavior and to help them to see how past and present might be connected. It emphases the need for adopters to conduct daily play sessions with their child and helps them adapt when their child rejects their praise and/or their rewards. It is an individualized, home-based program to be delivered by trained parent advisers. The manual contains special sections on less common, but nevertheless troubling, problems for some families (e.g., sexually inappropriate behavior, sibling conflicts, stealing and lying, etc.)


Program Goals:

The goals of Enhancing Adoptive Parenting are:

  • Increase parenting skill and understanding, and satisfaction with parenting
  • Reduce child mental health problems

Essential Components

The essential components of Enhancing Adoptive Parenting include:

  • This is an individualized, not group, program and is time-limited.
  • Parenting advisers will assess the current level of adopter parenting skill, understanding, and receptiveness to the program.
  • Both parents, if applicable, are encouraged to attend.
  • The range of problems presented by the child and the level of challenge and stress experienced by the adopters will be assessed.
  • The trained parent adviser will provide 10 weekly session of 1.5 hours in the adopter’s home (or other suitably private venue) using the published Enhancing Adoptive Parenting manual.
  • The topics for the sessions include:
    • Understanding insecurity and attachment and their effect on behavior
    • Using positive attention to change behavior
    • Participating in special daily play sessions
    • Using verbal praise and rewards
    • Using clear communication and boundaries
    • Ignoring undesirable behavior
    • Using effective discipline and problem solving
  • Adopters are taught to ‘read ‘ the child’s behavior and to reflect on their own emotions and reactions to the child.
  • Extra sessions include wetting and soiling, sexualized behavior, sibling and peer difficulties, emotional regulation difficulties, and fears and anxieties.
  • The adopters work through the successful development of positive parenting strategies even in the face of a resistant or rejecting child.
  • The adopters are provided with homework between each session to reinforce the new learning.
  • Before and after measures of child problem frequency and intensity and parenting skill and confidence are collected.

Parent/Caregiver Services

Enhancing Adoptive Parenting directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Recently adopted a child aged 4-9 years old with psychosocial problems from the foster care system and have difficulty in managing and understanding the child’s problems
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Adopters are expected to have special play sessions daily with their adopted children.

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home

Homework

Enhancing Adoptive Parenting includes a homework component:

Each session is followed by a handout and homework with reporting back the following week.

Languages

Enhancing Adoptive Parenting does not have materials available in a language other than English.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

The intention is individualized and home-based to maximize attendance and to make it more intensive than a group-based program.

Minimum Provider Qualifications

Professional qualification in social work or psychological therapy

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

On site, but only currently available in London, England

Number of days/hours:

2 days

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Child Welfare Outcomes: Not Specified

Show relevant research...

Please note: There have been no published, peer-reviewed studies of the Enhancing Adoptive Parenting intervention as a whole, and thus it cannot be rated on the CEBC Scientific Rating Scale. There have been two studies, summarized below, that compared the effectiveness of two components of the Enhancing Adoptive Parenting intervention.

Rushton, A., Monck, E., Leese, M., McCrone, P., & Sharac, J. (2010). Enhancing Adoptive Parenting: A randomised controlled trial. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 15(4), 529-542.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 37

Population:

  • Age — 3 years - 7 years, 11 months
  • Race/Ethnicity — Most were White (84% and 88% in each group)
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were parents of adoptive children with behavior problems.

Location/Institution: England

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Note: The current version of Enhancing Adoptive Parenting is a combination of the two parenting interventions tested in this study so this study does not evaluate the current Enhancing Adoptive Parenting program as a whole.This study evaluated two parenting programs designed for recent adopters of children from the foster care system. Participants were adoptive parents of children who were screened to have serious behavioral problems early in the placement. The adopters who agreed to join the study were randomly allocated to one of two parenting interventions (a cognitive-behavioral approach or an educational approach) or to a waitlist control group. Measures utilized were the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, Expression of Feelings Questionnaire, the Parenting Sense of Competence Scale (PSOC), Daily Hassles, and the Satisfaction with Parenting Advice Questionnaire. At follow-up, a significant difference was found for “satisfaction with parenting” in favor of the intervention group and negative parenting approaches were reduced in the intervention group. However, no significant differences in child problems were found between the intervention groups and control groups. Limitations include the small sample size and population generalizability.

Length of postintervention follow-up: Six months.

Sharac J., McCrone P., Rushton A., & Monck E. (2011). Enhancing Adoptive Parenting: A cost effectiveness analysis. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 16(2), 110-115.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 37

Population:

  • Age — 3 years - 7 years, 11 months
  • Race/Ethnicity — Most were White (84% and 88% in each group)
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were parents of adoptive children.

Location/Institution: England

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Note: The current version of the Enhancing Adoptive Parenting program is a combination of the two parenting interventions tested in this study.Note: This study uses the same sample as Rushton, A., Monck, E., Leese, M., McCrone, P., & Sharac, J. (2010) above. This study assesses adoptive parents who were randomly allocated to one of two parenting interventions (a cognitive-behavioral approach or an educational approach) or to a waitlist control group. Measures utilized were the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), the Expression of Feelings Questionnaire, Parenting Sense of Competence Scale, Daily Hassles, and the Parental Satisfaction Questionnaire. Findings suggest that the home-based parenting programs for adopters caring for difficult children in the first 18 months of placement may be cost-effective in enhancing satisfaction with parenting, but not in reducing child behavioral problems, compared with services as usual. Limitations include sample size and the short follow-up time frame.

Length of postintervention follow-up: Six months.

References

Rushton, A., & Upright, H. (2012). Enhancing Adoptive Parenting: A parenting programme for use with new adopters of challenging children. British Association of Adoption and Fostering: London.

Rushton A. and Monck E. (2009) Enhancing Adoptive Parenting: A Test of Effectiveness. British Association for Adoption and Fostering: London.

Rushton A, Monck E., Leese M, McCrone P. and Sharac J. (2010) Enhancing adoptive parenting: a randomised controlled trial. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Contact Information

Name: Alan Rushton, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Post Adoption Centre
Email:
Phone: (850) 208-7899 x498

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2014

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: October 2012