Children in foster care have social and emotional problems at rates three to ten times higher than those found in the general population. During the elementary school years (i.e. 5?12 years), research indicates that disruptive behavior in children in care can negatively impact social, emotional and academic development, as well as placement stability. Evidenced-based interventions to improve children’s behavior and reduce parenting stress are necessary. This pilot study augmented an existing evidenced-based intervention (i.e. the Incredible Years) developed for birth families for use with foster caregivers. Results from 18 families indicate that foster caregiver-reported conduct symptoms were significantly lower for children whose families participated in the treatment group. A similar trend was found for the overall externalizing behavior. No significant changes were identified in parenting attitudes and stress. Participants reported high levels of satisfaction and acceptability with the program and outcomes. These findings indicate that foster caregiver training should be examined in larger, randomized control trials.
Bibliography: Nilsen, W. 2007. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 12: 45. DOI: 10.1177/1359104507071055.