Effectiveness of the KEEP foster parent intervention during an implementation trial
Externalizing behavior problems are highly prevalent among children in foster care, placing them at risk for placement disruptions and later personal and social maladjustment. The KEEP foster parent intervention was designed to equip foster parents and relative caregivers with the parenting skills necessary for managing challenging behavior problems. In prior research, the KEEP intervention was found to be effective in reducing child behavior problems. In the current study, the KEEP foster parent intervention was implemented in San Diego County during a three-year trial. The intervention was delivered by paraprofessionals employed by a local community agency (Social Advocates for Youth, San Diego) to 181 foster parent and relative caregivers of boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 12. The control group from an earlier effectiveness study of the KEEP intervention that was also conducted in San Diego County was utilized as a historical comparison group. Regression analyses were used to examine the effects of the intervention on reducing levels of child behavior problems at treatment termination. Consistent with the findings from the previous KEEP effectiveness study, the intervention was found to be effective in reducing child behavior problems when delivered by a community agency. Furthermore, the KEEP intervention was found to be effective in reducing child behavior problems among children displaying various levels of initial behavior problems.
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