Fostering Relationships

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been rated by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

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Provisional Rating

Fostering Relationships currently has a provisional rating for the 60 days between: June 26, 2018 and August 25, 2018. If you would like to respond to the Scientific Rating, please submit feedback via the Contact Us page.

About This Program

Target Population: Birth and foster parents with young children (between 6 months and 6 years) in foster care who are beginning visitation

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 6

Brief Description

Fostering Relationships has several components used to meet the objectives of decreasing child distress, improving birth parent expectations and play behaviors, and improving the birth and foster parent relationship. First, foster parents transport children to visitation and stay with them throughout the visitation. Although this could seem to interfere with birth parents and children’s visits, it is designed to support children such that they are not distressed. Second, birth parents meet with a mentor before each of the five initial visits. The mentor teaches the birth parents how to anticipate child distress or reticence and follow their children’s lead during play. Lastly, the program helps foster parents understand what is meant by following a child’s lead, and helps them make comments in-the-moment that will support birth parents following their children’s lead. The point of this is to place foster parents in a supportive role to birth parents, and help birth parents play with their young children in a way that promotes regulatory skills.

Program Goals:

The goals of Fostering Relationships are:

  • Strengthen the relationship between the foster parent and birth parent
  • Help the birth parent to have a successful visit, feel less rejected by their child, and so encourage repeated visitation
  • Increase foster and birth parent use of play behaviors that promote self-regulation in young children; referred to as “following the lead” within Fostering Relationships

Contact Information

Caroline Roben, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: University of Delaware
Phone: (302) 319-1220

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2018

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2018

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2018