Research abstracts: the mental health of children in care

Title: Intensive care
Author: Terry Philpot
Reference: Young Minds Magazine, No. 86, January/February 2007, pp20-21

The author reports on an innovative fostering project that uses therapeutic foster care, supported foster care, and family-based foster care to support children and young people with emotional and mental health problems. MIST (The Multi-disciplinary Intervention Service, Torfaen) is run by NCH Cymru, in partnership with Torfaen’s education and social services authorities, Torfaen Health Board and the Gwent Health Care NHS Trust.

Title: Knowing the child: an ecological approach to the treatment of children in foster care
Author: Morrison, Janet; Mishna, Faye
Reference: Clinical Social Work Journal, 34(4), Winter 2006, pp467-481

Social workers in agencies and school settings often deal with high-risk, multi-problem children such as those in foster care. Increasingly, there is recognition that a co-ordinated approach is required to address the range of cognitive, social, and mental health problems with which they present. This article recommends utilization of an ecological treatment intervention that is tailored to the needs of the child based on a formulation of the child’s experience.

Title: Therapeutic interventions for foster children: a systematic research synthesis
Author: Craven, Patricia Ann; Lee, Robert E
Reference: Research on Social Work Practice, 16(3), May 2006, pp.287-304

About 30% of children in foster care have severe emotional, behavioural, or developmental problems. A systematic research synthesis of empirical studies was conducted to identify and classify therapeutic interventions for foster children. Interventions recognising the unique experience of foster children were found to be lacking in the current literature.

Title The mental health needs of looked after children in a local authority permanent placement social work team and the value of the Goodman SDQ
Author: Richards, Lin; Ruiz-Calzada, Luisa; Wood, Nola
Reference: Adoption and Fostering, 30(2), Summer 2006, pp43-52

The authors investigated the level of emotional and behavioural need and pre- and post-care experiences for children placed in one local authority social care permanent placement team. A cohort of 41 looked-after children were assessed by foster carers, teachers and young people aged 11-16 years themselves, using the Goodman Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). The study also sought to identify a suitable screening tool for the early identification of need.


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