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Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2009 Jul;18(3):721-34. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2009.03.003.

A new model of foster care for young children: the Bucharest early intervention project.

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Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Tulane University School of Medicine, 1440 Canal Street (TB-52), New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


The Bucharest Early Intervention Project is a randomized controlled trial of foster care as an intervention for young children who have spent most of their lives in institutions in Bucharest, Romania. The authors implemented an attachment-based model of child-centered foster care there, and a team of three Romanian social workers trained and supported foster parents in managing the complex challenges of caring for postinstitutionalized infants and toddlers. They received regular weekly consultation from US-based clinicians designed to guide their work with foster parents and children. From language development to toilet training to encouraging the development of the young child's ability to trust, foster parents received ongoing support to help these young children transition to family life. Developmental outcomes so far indicate significantly better outcomes for young children in this foster care program than children who remained in institutions. For some domains of development, earlier placement was associated with better outcomes but for others, timing of placement did not appear to matter.

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