Cheung, C., Lwin, K., Jenkins, J. M. (2012). Helping youth in care succeed: Influence of caregiver involvement on academic achievement. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(6), 1092-1100.
This study examines the influence of out-of-home child welfare placements on academic outcomes of youth between ten and 15 years. Assessment and Action Record (AAR) data (n=687) from the Ontario Looking after Children (OnLAC) were analyzed. The majority (85%) of distinctions in academic success were attributable to individual differences in children. Therefore, the role of the placement plays a much smaller role in academic achievement than individual factors. Further results suggested that foster or group caregivers who provided more academic support at home and a positive literacy environment were more likely to care for youth with higher levels of academic success. Contrary to expectations, out-of-home placement caregiver’s involvement with the youth’s teacher and school was not significantly associated with academic achievement of youth living in out-of-home care. Lastly, higher levels of foster or group caregiver expectations were associated with higher levels of academic success.
Gladstone, J., Dumbrill, G., Leslie, B., Koster, A., Young, M., & Ismaila, A. (2012). Looking at engagement and outcome from the perspectives of child protection workers and parents. Children and Youth Services Review 34(1), 112-118.
The purpose of this study was to understand what facilitates engagement between parents and child welfare workers. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered with 131 worker-parent dyads from 11 child welfare organizations in Ontario. Predictor variables included engagement, parental well-being (i.e., depression, stress), and worker well-being (i.e., burnout, job satisfaction, stress). Outcome variables included parental perception of child safety, changed parenting practices, and satisfaction with service.
Workers who were satisfied with service outcomes were significantly more engaged than workers who were unsatisfied. Parents who thought their children were safer as a result of child welfare intervention were significantly more engaged than parents who thought that their children were less safe.
The most compelling reason for positive change according to parents was being able to trust their worker and believing their worker was knowledgeable about parenting. Consistently, workers who felt that experience enabled them to better understand client’s problems and provide more effective support. Authors suggest that results indicate that engagement between clients and workers is related to self-reported outcomes and supports the perspective that promoting engagement is a key factor to a successful child welfare intervention.
Scott, K. L. & Lishak, V. (2012). Intervention for maltreating fathers: Statistically and clinically significant change. Child Abuse and Neglect, 36(9), 680-684.
Little is known about the effectiveness of interventions for fathers who have been substantiated for maltreatment, neglect, or exposing this child to domestic violence. In order to reduce the knowledge gap authors examined the efficacy of a community-based group treatment group for fathers (n=98).
Changes in parenting, co-parenting, and generalized aggression were measured between pre- and post-intervention. The most significant changes were found in father’s over-reactivity to children’s misbehavior and respect for their partner’s commitment and judgment.
Authors suggest the study is limited in the follow-up time period and the lack of a control group. However, results are promising for continuous development for interventions aimed at fathers who are involved with the child welfare system.