Topic: Placement Stabilization Programs

Scientific Ratings in this topic:

1 - Well-Supported by Research Evidence

2 - Supported by Research Evidence

3 - Promising Research Evidence

4 - Evidence Fails to Demonstrate Effect

5 - Concerning Practice

NR - Not able to be Rated

Learn more about the scale

Definition for Placement Stabilization Programs:

Placement Stabilization Programs are defined by the CEBC as programs that aim to reduce the number and frequency of disrupted out-of-home placements. Services that seek to keep placements intact include those focused on enhancing the caregiver's sense of competency in parenting the child including dealing with difficult behaviors, encouraging positive caregiver-child interactions, helping the caregiver develop proactive and reactive responses that reinforce positive behaviors, and providing a safe and nurturing environment for the child. Goals for some programs may also include stabilizing placements for large sibling groups to keep siblings together.

  • Target population: Children in out-of-home placements
  • Services/types that fit: Outpatient, day treatment, and residential services with individual or group formats that target youth directly or adults (caregivers, teachers, etc.) who work with these youth
  • Delivered by: Child welfare workers, mental health professionals, or trained paraprofessionals
  • In order to be included: Program must specifically target placement stabilization as a goal
  • In order to be rated: There must be research evidence (as specified by the Scientific Rating Scale) that examines outcomes related to placement stabilization, such as placement disruptions, exits from out-of-home care, or moves to more restrictive levels of care
Downloadable Topic Area Summary

Programs in this Topic Area

The programs listed below have been reviewed by the CEBC and, if appropriate, been rated using the Scientific Rating Scale.

One Program with a Scientific Rating of 1 - Well-Supported by Research Evidence:

  • Treatment Foster Care Oregon - Adolescents (TFCO-A)
    [Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care - Adolescents]
    Boys and girls, 12-17 years old, with severe delinquency and/or severe emotional and behavioral disorders who were in need ...

Three Programs with a Scientific Rating of 2 - Supported by Research Evidence:

Six Programs with a Scientific Rating of 3 - Promising Research Evidence:

Five Programs with a Scientific Rating of NR - Not able to be Rated:

Why was this topic chosen by the Advisory Committee?

The Placement Stabilization Programs topic area is relevant to child welfare because limiting the number of placement changes for children in child welfare is beneficial to their well-being. There is an increasing body of knowledge on the impact of trauma on the brain development of children, especially on young children. Foster children are likely to have experienced trauma in-utero, and after birth through exposure to abuse, neglect, and violence. Removal of a child from an unsafe home reduces the risk of further abuse and neglect, but at a cost. Every placement change requires a child to adapt to a new environment at home, in school, and in the most personal relationships: new caregiver, new room, new roommate, new teacher, new foods, new rules, new doctor, new friends, etc. Children cope in various ways, including exacerbating troublesome and unhealthy behaviors. Academic development is interrupted, social relationships are severed, and new barriers to reunification can develop. These disruptive behaviors are linked to placement instability, and contribute to reduced chance of reunification.

Mary C. Harris
Former CEBC Advisory Committee Member

Topic Expert

The Placement Stabilization Programs topic area was added in 2007. Sonya Leathers, PhD was the topic expert and was involved in identifying and rating any of the programs with an original load date in 2007 (as found on the bottom of the program's page on the CEBC) or others loaded earlier and added to this topic area when it launched. The topic area has grown over the years and any programs added since 2007 were identified by CEBC staff, the Scientific Panel, and/or the Advisory Committee. For these programs, Dr. Leathers was not involved in identifying or rating them.