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Effectiveness of treatment foster care with children and adolescents: a review of outcome studies.

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Department of Psychology, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ 07666, USA.



To evaluate the effectiveness of treatment foster care with children and adolescents.


Published outcome studies (N = 40) from 1974 to 1996 were systematically reviewed and coded. A weighted predictive value statistic was used to analyze the impact of treatment foster care on five dependent variables: placement permanency, behavior problems, discharge status, social skills, and psychological adjustment.


Treatment foster care produced large positive effects on increasing placement permanency and children's social skills. Medium positive effects were found in reducing behavior problems, improving psychological adjustment, and reducing restrictiveness of postdischarge placement.


Few investigations collected data both at time of program completion and follow-up, precluding a test of the durability and generalizability of treatment foster care outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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