Topic: Placement Stabilization Programs
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
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, 12-18 years old, with severe delinquency and/or severe emotional and behavioral disorders who were in need ...
Two Programs with a Scientific Rating of 2 - Supported by Research Evidence:
- Fostering Healthy Futures (FHF)Boys and girls, ages 9-11, placed in out-of-home care in the prior two years as a result of maltreatment
- Treatment Foster Care Oregon for Preschoolers (TFCO-P)
[Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care for Preschoolers]Preschool foster children aged 3-6 years old who exhibit a high level of disruptive and anti-social behavior which cannot be ...
Five Programs with a Scientific Rating of 3 - Promising Research Evidence:
- Family Group Decision Making (FGDM)Children who are abused/neglected and their family groups
- KEEP (Keeping Foster and Kin Parents Supported and Trained)Caregivers of children 4 to 12 years of age in foster or kinship care placements
- KEEP SAFECaregivers of youth 10 to 18 years of age in foster or kinship care placements and the youth themselves
- Neighbor To Family Sibling Foster Care Model
[Neighbor to Neighbor]Sibling groups of 2 or more children from infancy through seventeen years of age who are in the custody of the ...
- WraparoundDesigned for children and youth with severe emotional, behavioral, or mental health difficulties and their families where the child/youth ...
Five Programs with a Scientific Rating of NR - Not able to be Rated:
- Georgia Comprehensive Child and Family Assessments (CCFA) – non-responder
- Mockingbird Family Model, The (MFM)The Mockingbird Family ModelChildren, adolescents, and foster families
- Parents as Tender Healers (PATH) – non-responder
- PRIDE Model of Practice (Parent Resource for Information, Development, and Education)Prospective foster and adoptive parents and experienced foster parents; child welfare professionals who develop, support, and team with resource parents
- Trauma Informed PS - MAPP (TIPS-MAPP)
[Partnering for Safety and Permanence - Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting]Prospective foster and adoptive families in both public and private agencies
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
Sonya Leathers, PhD, Assistant Professor
School of Social Services Administration, University of Chicago