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Comparing outcomes for youth in treatment foster care and family-style group care

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  • Lee, Bethany R.
  • Thompson, Ron

Abstract

Group care programs are often criticized for producing poor outcomes, especially in light of community-based alternatives like treatment foster care that have a stronger evidence base. In this study, data from Girls and Boys Town were used to compare outcomes of youth in treatment foster care (n = 112) and group care (n = 716) using propensity score matching, a method that can minimize selection bias in nonrandomized designs. Eighteen background covariates were used to develop propensity scores for the likelihood of receiving treatment foster care rather than group care. Several matching methods generated balanced samples on which the outcomes were compared. Results found that group care youth were more likely to be favorably discharged, more likely to return home, and less likely to experience subsequent placement in the first 6 months after discharge. Legal involvement and residing in a home-like environment at follow-up did not differ. Positive outcomes for group care youth suggest that family-style group care programs may promote effectiveness.

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  • Lee, Bethany R. & Thompson, Ron, 2008. "Comparing outcomes for youth in treatment foster care and family-style group care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 746-757, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:30:y:2008:i:7:p:746-757
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    1. James, Sigrid, 2011. "What works in group care? -- A structured review of treatment models for group homes and residential care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 308-321, February.
    2. Portwood, Sharon G. & Boyd, Suzanne A. & Nelson, Ellissa Brooks & Murdock, Tamera B. & Hamilton, Jessica & Miller, Angela D., 2018. "A comparison of outcomes for children and youth in foster and residential group care across agencies," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 19-25.
    3. Kim, Soyoun & Chun, JongSerl, 2016. "Aggressive behaviors among Korean children in out-of-home care: The role of placement characteristics," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 56-61.
    4. Lo, Albert & Roben, Caroline K.P. & Maier, Collin & Fabian, Kimberly & Shauffer, Carole & Dozier, Mary, 2015. "“I want to be there when he graduates:” Foster parents show higher levels of commitment than group care providers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 95-100.
    5. Leloux-Opmeer, Harmke & Kuiper, Chris H.Z. & Swaab, Hanna T. & Scholte, Evert M., 2017. "Children referred to foster care, family-style group care, and residential care: (How) do they differ?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1-9.
    6. Ahuna, Jonathan K. & Hee, Puanani J. & Mueller, Charles W., 2021. "Process, practices, and outcomes of trauma-focused services in a statewide treatment foster care program," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    7. Lee, Bethany & Barth, Rick P., 2009. "Residential education: An emerging resource for improving educational outcomes for youth in foster care?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 155-160, January.
    8. Izzo, Charles V. & Smith, Elliott G. & Sellers, Deborah E. & Holden, Martha J. & Nunno, Michael A., 2020. "Improving relationship quality in group care settings: The impact of implementing the CARE model," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C).
    9. Weng, Xue & Chui, Wing Hong & Kim, Tae Yeun, 2018. "Residential education as an alternative for promoting psychosocial and behavioral outcomes among high-risk young Macanese males," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 514-520.
    10. Manso, Juan Manuel Moreno & García-Baamonde, Maria Elena & Alonso, Macarena Blázquez & Barona, Eloísa Guerrero, 2011. "An analysis of how children adapt to residential care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1981-1988, October.
    11. Brown, Stephanie & Wilderson, Dina, 2010. "Homelessness prevention for former foster youth: Utilization of transitional housing programs," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1464-1472, October.
    12. Leloux-Opmeer, Harmke & Kuiper, Chris H.Z. & Swaab, Hanna T. & Scholte, Evert M., 2018. "Discriminating baseline indicators for (un)favorable psychosocial development in different 24-h settings," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 113-123.

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