Comparing the Efficacy of Two Interventions to Promote Lasting Relationships for Foster Youth

Liat Shklarski, PhD student, City University of New York, United States 

Many foster youth have childhood histories of maltreatment and trauma (Samuels & Pryce, 2008) and struggle with forming and sustaining lasting relationships with adults (Avery, 2010). The Fostering Connections to Success and Adoptions Act (United States Congress 2008) recognizes that all youth need a relationship with a caring, committed adult. Two approaches have been purported to help transitioning youth build lasting connections; however, neither have been rigorously evaluated. Family Finding (Campbell, 2010) uses search and engagement efforts to recruit adults to provide a relational permanent connection for youth. The 3-5-7 Model (Henry 2005) empowers young people to grieve their losses and rebuild relationships. The purpose of this paper is to compare the relative efficacy of these interventions, both separately and combined, by randomly assigning seventy-five foster youth to receive one of three possible interventions: (1) Family Finding; (2) the 3-5-7 Model; or (3) Family Finding combined with the 3-5-7 Model.

Key-words: Transitioning out of care youth, foster youth, permanency

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