A narrative review of mental and relational health interventions for children in family-based out-of-home care (2021)
The present article reviews the evidence base for psychosocial interventions provided to children in family-based out-of-home care that seek to improve children’s mental health, felt security, and/or the quality, strength or permanence of their attachment relationships. The review identified very few high-quality treatment trials carried out with this population. The interventions with the strongest demonstrated efficacy are Keeping Foster Parents Trained and Supported (KEEP) and Attachment and Biobehavioral Catchup (ABC). KEEP’s effectiveness has also been demonstrated in a community setting. Complex attachment- and trauma-related difficulties manifested by children in care following early maltreatment follow a long-term developmental course and have trait-like durability. Treatment trials should be designed as long-term studies, providing at least several years of post-treatment assessment. Practitioner points: Very few high-quality intervention trials have been conducted with children and adolescents in out-of-home care and/or their caregivers. The interventions with the strongest demonstrated efficacy are Keeping Foster Parents Trained and Supported (KEEP) and Attachment and Biobehavioral Catchup (ABC). Given the enduring nature of complex trauma- and attachment-related problems, treatment trials should include long-term follow-up mental health and relational measures. The effectiveness of treatments administered directly to adolescents are moderated by caregiver involvement and ‘buy-in’.
CitationTarren-Sweeney M (2021). A narrative review of mental and relational health interventions for children in family-based out-of-home care. Journal of Family Therapy. 43(3). 376-391.
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ANZSRC Fields of Research42 - Health sciences::4203 - Health services and systems::420313 - Mental health services
42 - Health sciences::4206 - Public health::420601 - Community child health
52 - Psychology::5201 - Applied and developmental psychology::520101 - Child and adolescent development
52 - Psychology::5203 - Clinical and health psychology::520302 - Clinical psychology
44 - Human society::4409 - Social work::440901 - Clinical social work practice
RightsAll rights reserved unless otherwise stated
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A narrative review of stability and change in the mental health of children who grow up in family-based out-of-home care Goemans A; Tarren-Sweeney, Michael (SAGE Publications, 2019)The present review sought to address the following questions: What evidence is there that long-term, family-based out-of-home care (OOHC) has a general, population-wide effect on children’s mental health such that it is ...
Mental health screening for children in care using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Brief Assessment Checklists: Guidance from three national studies Goemans A; Hahne AS; Gieve M; Tarren-Sweeney, Michael (SAGE Publications, 2019)Although children residing in statutory out-of-home care and those adopted from care are more likely than not to have mental health difficulties requiring clinical intervention or support, their difficulties often remain ...
Alignment of Borderline Personality Disorder and Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder With Complex Developmental Symptomatology Lawless J; Tarren-Sweeney, Michael (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022)Cluster analysis of maltreatment-related mental health symptoms manifested by adolescents in foster care suggest the absence of an underlying taxonomic structure. To test this further, we investigated alignment between ...