Psychosocial Treatment of Children in Foster Care: A Review

  title={Psychosocial Treatment of Children in Foster Care: A Review},
  author={Robert Racusin and Arthur Maerlender and Anjana Sengupta and Peter K. Isquith and Martha B. Straus},
  journal={Community Mental Health Journal},
A substantial number of children in foster care exhibit psychiatric difficulties. Recent epidemiological and historical trends in foster care, clinical findings about the adjustment of children in foster care and adult outcomes are reviewed, followed by a description of current approaches to treatment and extant empirical support. Available interventions for these children can be categorized as either symptom-focused or systemic, with empirical support for specific methods ranging from scant to… 

Children in foster care: a vulnerable population at risk.

  • Delilah Bruskas
  • Psychology
    Journal of child and adolescent psychiatric nursing : official publication of the Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nurses, Inc
  • 2008
Systemic orientation for all children entering foster care is proposed as a preventative intervention that addresses associated experiences of children in foster care.


A ccording to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2001, more than 800,000 children spent some time in the out-of-home care, including family foster care, group homes, and

Long-term foster care: different needs, different outcomes

Approximately 424,000 U.S. children have been removed from their regular home and are in substitute care by child protective services in a given year.1 A number of studies indicate children in foster

Influences on the Mental Health of Children Placed in Foster Care

Qualitative research methods were used to explore stakeholder perceptions of various influences on foster children's health, including difficulties associated with perceiving oneself as being different, the children's need for coping strategies, problems encountered with the foster care system, transitions between foster homes, and the need for medical homes.

Occupational Therapy's Emerging Role With Transitioning Adolescents in Foster Care

Mental health issues among adolescents in foster care are discussed, a population that would greatly benefit from occupational therapy services emphasizing skill development in the areas of independent living, vocation, and health.

The mental health of children in out-of-home care

It is recommended that assessment and intervention are provided by clinical teams that have specialist knowledge of children in care, and that use an ecological approach to assessment.

Developing Evidence‐Based Interventions for Foster Children: An Example of a Randomized Clinical Trial with Infants and Toddlers

Preliminary data is presented testing the effectiveness of an intervention, Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up, to target relationship formation in young children in the foster care system to target children's regulatory capabilities.

Trauma-informed care psychoeducational group-based interventions for foster carers and adoptive parents: A narrative review

Trauma-informed care (TIC) psychoeducational group-based interventions for foster carers and adoptive parents are growing, but evidence about their effects have not been integrated. A narrative

Improving mental health outcomes for children and youth exposed to abuse and neglect.

Four strategies are demonstrated that can improve mental health outcomes for children exposed to abuse and neglect: increasing admission prevention and early intervention to support at-risk youth at home; supporting transitions from intensive residential treatment back to the community; ensuring youth transitioning to the adult system have the supports they need; and increasing integration in service delivery between children's mental health and child welfare.



Psychopathology among children placed in family foster care.

  • D. Pilowsky
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Psychiatric services
  • 1995
Evidence suggests that the prevalence of psychopathology among children in family foster care is higher than would be expected from normative data, even when this population is compared with children who have backgrounds of similar deprivation.

Psychological Disorders Among Foster Children

The prevalence of psychological disorder, the topology of symptom syndromes manifested, and relative risks for disordered status and individual syndromes were determined for an entire population of

Effectiveness of treatment foster care with children and adolescents: a review of outcome studies.

  • L. ReddyS. Pfeiffer
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • 1997
Treatment foster care produced large positive effects on increasing placement permanency and children's social skills and medium positive effects were found in reducing behavior problems, improving psychological adjustment, and reducing restrictiveness of postdischarge placement.

The Mental Health of Children in Foster Care: A Comparison with Community and Clinical Samples

The high symptom burden of children in care is substantially attributable to their high-risk histories, and treatment should be designed with this in mind.

Improving Adjustment Outcomes For Foster Children With Emotional And Behavioral Disorders

This study was a community-based, controlled experiment to evaluate the efficacy of the Fostering Individualized Assistance Program (FIAP), which was driven by permanency (i.e., a stable placement in

Treatment foster care services: a research agenda for child welfare.

Results from program evaluations and experimental research suggest that treatment foster care is an effective alternative to residential treatment for seriously troubled and troubling children.

Preventive intervention for maltreated preschool children: impact on children's behavior, neuroendocrine activity, and foster parent functioning.

A pilot study that evaluated the effectiveness of the Early Intervention Foster Care program in the period immediately following a child's placement in a new foster home found EIFC children's behavioral adjustment improved, and changes occurred in several salivary cortisol measures.

Treating anxiety disorders in children: results of a randomized clinical trial.

  • P. Kendall
  • Psychology
    Journal of consulting and clinical psychology
  • 1994
Many treated Ss were found to be without a diagnosis at posttest and at follow-up and to be within normal limits on many measures and the need for further research on treatment components and alternative treatment methods is highlighted.

The foster care system and health status of foster children.

  • E. Schor
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • 1982
The foster home care system is the most commonly used alternative for the care of dependent children in the United States. However, it often fails to achieve its objective of returning the child to

Serious Emotional Disturbance in Children and Adolescents: Multisystemic Therapy.

This chapter discusses Adapting MST to Treat Youths with Serious Emotional Disturbance and MST Quality Assurance: Promoting Effective Implementation in the Field.