Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 307–322 | Cite as

An Overview of Problematic Eating and Food-Related Behavior Among Foster Children: Definitions, Etiology, and Intervention

  • Carolyn M. Casey
  • Catherine Cook-CottoneEmail author
  • Meredith Beck-Joslyn


Although several studies have identified problematic eating and food-related behaviors (e.g., Bulimia Nervosa, hoarding, obesity) as significant concerns among children in foster care, there is little evidence-based guidance on how practitioners may appropriately identify and treat children with these concerns. The current review describes the scope of eating and food-related difficulties among foster children, discusses potential etiological factors associated with these behaviors, reviews prevention and intervention strategies, and highlights implications for future research. All of these topics are aimed toward child welfare workers who are likely to encounter these eating patterns in practice. In addition to addressing problematic behaviors, this review also incorporates strategies for the promotion of healthy nutrition among families in the welfare system.


Foster care Eating Nutrition 



This work originated from a College Partnership Research Project made possible through a training and administrative services agreement between the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and the Research Foundation of SUNY Buffalo State College Center for Development of Human Services. Special thanks to Tom Needell, Child Welfare Trainer, and Vivian Figliotti, Child Welfare Trainer, for their assistance with this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolyn M. Casey
    • 1
  • Catherine Cook-Cottone
    • 1
    Email author
  • Meredith Beck-Joslyn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Counseling, School, and Educational PsychologyUniversity at Buffalo, The State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA

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