The findings of this study are not new. A number of previous evaluations with relatively rigorous designs have failed to produce evidence that family preservation programs with varying approaches to service have placement prevention effects or have more than minimal benefits in improved family or child functioning. The work reported here may be th
This evaluation of family preservation programs was designed to assess the extent to which key goals of the programs are being met: the goals of reducing foster care placement, maintaining the safety of children, and improving family functioning.
In all three states, the caretaker interview, the caseworker interview, and the contacts data generally confirmed the expectation that the experimental group would receive more services and more intensive services than the control group (see Table 4 ). In all three states, the number of experimental group caseworker activities reported by careta
Most families in the study had birth mothers as the primary caretakers. About half of these women had not graduated from high school. Half of the households in Tennessee were headed by a single-birth mother, compared to 43 percent in Kentucky, and 34 percent in New Jersey (see Table 2 ).
While data collection efforts were the same across sites, the sites varied in their approach to identifying families for services, the populations served, and the type of services provided (see Table 1 ).
The design for this evaluation was an experiment in which families were randomly assigned to either a Homebuilders family preservation program (the experimental group) or to other, "regular," services of the child welfare system (the control group). This report concerns programs in Louisville, Kentucky; seven counties in New Jersey; and Memphis, T
Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs: Interim Report. The Homebuilders Model
Homebuilders, a foster care placement prevention program developed in 1974 in Tacoma, Washington, calls for short-term, time-limited services provided to the entire family in the home. 4 The program is based, in part, on crisis intervention theory. This theory holds that families experiencing a crisis - that is, about to have a child placed i
This is a report of an evaluation of programs intended to prevent the placement of children in foster care when it can be avoided. 1 This report focuses on programs in three states, using a particular approach to family preservation, Homebuilders, thought by many to be the most promising approach.
Submitted to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation Room 450G, HHH Building 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201 Submitted by: Westat, Inc. 1650 Research Boulevard Rockville, MD 20850 Chapin Hall Center for Children University of Chicago 1313 East Si
A Synthesis of Research on Family Preservation and Family Reunification Programs. Relationships between Service Characteristics and Placement
Several studies have examined correlations between service characteristics and placement outcomes. For example, Yuan et al. (1990) found that placement was more likely among families who received less intensive family preservation services. Nelson et al. (1988) reported that placement rates were lower in programs that offered more focused, shorter
A Synthesis of Research on Family Preservation and Family Reunification Programs. More Recent Experimental Studies
California's AB 1562 In-home Care Demonstration Project, in operation in eight counties from 1986 to 1989, was an intensive, in-home services program. Cases thought to involve "imminent risk of placement" due to abuse or neglect were referred by county child protective services offices. 20 Families were served for an average of 7 weeks in progra
A Synthesis of Research on Family Preservation and Family Reunification Programs. Early Experimental Studies
In the studies reviewed so far, rates of placement in the groups provided family preservation services were quite low. However, we cannot conclude from these results that the services were the cause of the low rates of placement. The reason for this is that we cannot be sure what would have happened to these cases in the absence of services. To de
Overflow designs, in which a comparison group is composed of cases not served because programs are full, provide information about effects that is somewhat better than single group or non- comparable group designs. We review four such studies here.
A Synthesis of Research on Family Preservation and Family Reunification Programs. Non-experimental Studies
Many early evaluations of programs designed to prevent placement used non-experimental designs in which groups receiving these services were followed without comparing them to other groups or in which nonequivalent comparison groups were used. 5 The studies of only groups receiving services appear to have had implicit "phantom" nontreatment cont
A Synthesis of Research on Family Preservation and Family Reunification Programs. Family Preservation
As indicated in the companion paper on current family preservation programs, one of the most striking features of these efforts is their diversity. They vary on a number of dimensions, including the extent to which the focus is on placement prevention versus other goals, such as the improvement of family functioning. 2 There is also variation in
by Julia H. Littell and John R. Schuerman Westat, Inc., in association with James Bell Associates, and the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago. A part of the National Evaluation of Family Preservation Servcies For the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation Department of Health and Human Servi
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) each conduct research on a variety of substance abuse topics, including basic research and studies of epidemiological, clinical, prevention, and services aspects of alcohol and illicit drug abuse and addiction.
The Adoption Opportunities Program eliminates barriers to adoption and helps to find permanent families for children who would benefit by adoption, particularly children with special needs. The five major program areas, as mandated by the legislation, are: (1) the development and implementation of a national adoption and foster care data g