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J Behav Health Serv Res. 2018 Jan;45(1):74-89. doi: 10.1007/s11414-017-9569-4.

Foster and Adoptive Parent Perspectives on Needs and Services: a Mixed Methods Study.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research Center, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH, 03756, USA. erin.r.barnett@dartmouth.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research Center, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH, 03756, USA.
3
Center for Program Design and Evaluation at Dartmouth, 21 Lafayette #373, Lebanon, NH, 03756, USA.
4
New Hampshire Division of Children Youth and Families, 129 Pleasant St, Concord, NH, 03301, USA.
5
The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH, 03766, USA.

Abstract

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.

KEYWORDS:

Adoptive parent; Foster children; Foster parent; Mental health services; Mixed methods; Social services

PMID:
28852992
DOI:
10.1007/s11414-017-9569-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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