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Child Abuse Negl. 2010 Dec;34(12):917-26. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2010.07.003. Epub 2010 Oct 28.

Advancing prediction of foster placement disruption using Brief Behavioral Screening.

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School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 92127, USA.



Behavioral difficulties increase the risk that children will experience negative placement disruptions while in foster care. Chamberlain et al. (2006) found that the Parent Daily Report (PDR), a brief measure of parent-reported child behaviors, was a strong predictor of negative placement changes over 1 year among children receiving "usual case work" services. This paper sought to replicate and extend original findings regarding the PDR among 359 foster parents participating in a group parent-training intervention.


Foster parents of children experiencing a recent foster placement, and taking part in the KEEP parenting program, were included in analyses. Foster parents completed 16 weekly PDR calls about the behavior of a foster child in their care during the KEEP intervention and about their stress related to the child's behaviors. Multiple strategies, including latent class analysis of weekly PDR counts and continuous moving averages of PDR counts over shorter time frames, were used to test improvements in prediction of negative placement changes.


Consistent with prior findings, children with elevated PDR ratings and children living with non-relative foster parents had significantly higher levels of negative placement disruptions. Prediction improved with decision rules relying upon increased amounts of weekly PDR information, although good prediction was achieved with 3-5 weeks of PDR information. Parent-reported stress associated with behavior did not improve prediction.


This study confirmed the potential utility of the PDR as a predictor of negative placement changes and illustrates how longitudinal PDR information may aid in improving such prediction. Potential applications of the PDR for improving the timing, type, and quantity of services offered to help foster parents prevent placement disruptions are discussed.

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