Foster and Adoptive Parent Perspectives on Needs and Services: a Mixed Methods Study
- 358 Downloads
Caring for children with complex needs severely stresses foster and adoptive parents, but few studies have examined their perspectives on needs and services. To examine parental views, the authors analyzed four focus groups (n = 27 participants) and one state-wide survey (n = 512 respondents, 42% of 1206 contacted) of foster and adoptive parents in one state. Results highlighted inadequate communication between providers and families, cultural and legal barriers, needs for parent training and preparation, the importance of several types of parent supports, and needs for specialized mental health treatment for the children. Surveyed parents identified children’s behavior problems as their top challenge, and over half rated the availability of mental health providers who treat attachment and family as insufficient. The findings suggest specific areas in which state leaders could enhance training and supports for child welfare staff and foster and adoptive parents and improve mental health services for children in foster and adoptive care.
KeywordsFoster parent Adoptive parent Foster children Mixed methods Mental health services Social services
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors report no conflicts of interest.
This project was funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau, 90C01115-01.
- 4.Macdonald G, Kakavelakis I. Helping foster carers to manage challenging behaviour: evaluation of a cognitive-behavioural training program for foster carers. Exeter: Centre for Evidence-Based Social Services, University of Exeter, 2004.Google Scholar
- 9.McMillen JC, Zima BT, Scott LD Jr., et al. Prevalence of psychiatric disorders among older youths in the foster care system. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2005; 44(1): 88–95. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.chi.0000145806.24274.d2 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 10.Greeson JK, Briggs EC, Layne CM, et al. Traumatic childhood experiences in the 21st century: broadening and building on the ACE studies with data from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2014; 29(3): 536–556. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260513505217 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 12.Stevens, K. North American Council on Adoptable Children. Winter 2011: Adopttalk. Retrieved from: https://www.nacac.org/adoptalk/postadoptionsurvey.html.
- 13.Burns BJ, Phillips SD, Wagner HR, et al. Mental health need and access to mental health services by youths involved with child welfare: a national survey. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2004; 43(8): 960–970. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.chi.0000127590.95585.65 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 15.Mauery D R, Collins J, McCarthy J, et al. Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc. Contracting for coordination of behavioral health services in privatized child welfare and Medicaid managed care. http://hsrc.himmelfarb.gwu.edu/sphhs_policy_facpubs/222. Published June. 2003.
- 16.The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. Keeping the promise: A critical need for post-adoption services to enable children and families to succeed, Policy and Practice Perspective. 2010. Retrieved from: http://adoptioninstitute.org/publications/keeping-the-promise-the-critical-need-for-post-adoption-services-to-enable-children-and-families-to-succeed/
- 18.A report to Congress on barriers and success factors in adoptions from foster care: Perspectives of families and staff supported by the adoption opportunities program. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families. Washington D.C. 2007; 1–109. Retrieved from: https://www.adoptuskids.org/_assets/files/NRCRRFAP/resources/barriers-and-success-factors-family-and-staff-perspectives.pdf
- 19.Summary of service and support needs of foster parents services to foster families workgroup. Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, Out-of-Home Care Committee, Family Services Review Program Enhancement Plan. 2006; Retrieved from: http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/memos/infomemos/2006/2006-12attach.pdf
- 24.US DHHS. Affordable Care Act Supports Patient Centered Medical Homes in Health Centers. Retrieved January 3rd, 2017 from: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2014/08/26/the-affordable-care-act-supports-patient-centered-medical-homes-in-health-centers.html25
- 25.McCarthy J, Rider F, Fawcett CM, et al. Services for youth in the child welfare system and their families in systems of care. Stroul BA, Blau GM, eds. The System of Care Handbook: Transforming Mental Health Services for Children, Youth and Families. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.; 2008:595–614Google Scholar
- 26.Pires SA Building Systems of Care: A Primer for Child Welfare. https://gucchd.georgetown.edu/products/PRIMER_ChildWelfare.pdf. Published Spring, 2008.
- 28.Bruns EJ, Pullman MD, Sather A, et al. Effectiveness of wraparound versus case management for children and adolescents: Results of a randomized study. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services. 2015; 42:309–322. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-014-0571-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 30.Garrison M. Reforming child protection: A public health perspective. Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law. 2004; 12: 590.Google Scholar
- 31.Collins J. Recommended Caseload Standards. Child Welfare League of America.org. http://184.108.40.206/newsevents/news030304cwlacaseload.htm
- 34.Leathers SJ, Spielfogel JE, Gleeson JP, et al. Behavior problems, foster home integration, and evidence-based behavioral interventions: What predicts adoption of foster children? Children & Youth Services Review. 2012; 34(5): 891–899. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.01.017 CrossRefGoogle Scholar