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Children and Youth Services Review   Volume: 24 (4) 2002  forthcoming

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Devon Brooks                   213     Adoption Services Use, Helpfulness, and

Joan Allen                                  Need: A Comparison of Public and

Richard P. Barth                         Private Agency and Independent Adoptive

                                                  Families

 This study examined ways in which adoption service providers can better meet the needs of adoptive families. Eight years after their adoptions, 873 adoptive parents were asked about their utilization of post adoption services, the helpfulness of those services, and their recommendations for both pre and post adoption services. Data were compared by self-reported adoption type, i.e., public agency (n = 368), private agency (n = 168), and independent (n =337). Findings reveal that less than 30% of adoptive families used most post adoption services. Considerably higher percentages of adopters read books and articles on adoption, and attended lectures or seminars on adoption. Most adopters who received services found them helpful. Adopters of all types expressed a strong desire for material information about their adopted child’s background and history, as well as for ongoing informational resources to help them in raising their children. However, compared with private agency and independent adopters, public agency adopters were more likely to want clinical services, such as support groups for adoptive parents and adopted children, child counseling, and family therapy. Program and practice implications are offered, as are suggestions for future research.


Sonya J. Leathers             239     Foster Children’s Behavioral Disturbance

                                                  and Detachment from Caregivers and

                                                  Community Institutions

 

 This study explored how experiences in substitute care are related to behavioral disturbance among young adolescents in non-relative foster care. A model was defined in which placement movement, group placement, and inconsistent or decreasing parental visitation were expected to be correlated with weak informal social controls such as caregiver attachments and involvement in schools and churches. Through weakened attachments and community involvement, these experiences in care were expected to be associated with behavioral problems. This correlational model was tested in a random sample of 199 urban foster children. Structured telephone interviews conducted at a single point in time with foster parents and caseworkers were the primary source of data. Some results were consistent with the study hypotheses, but the results varied for boys and girls. Fewer symptoms of conduct disorder were found among boys with stronger attachments to their foster families and girls with higher school achievement and investment. Additionally, placement movement was indirectly associated with severity of conduct disorder for both boys and girls.


Einat Peled                       269     Where Do They Go From Here?

Shimon Spiro                              Destinations of Youth Exiting a Shelter

Rachel Dekel

 

Very little is currently known about patterns of shelter use by homeless and runaway youths. The goal of this study, conducted in an Israeli drop-in shelter for homeless youth, was to predict a major dimension of service “output” – namely, youngsters’ destination at departure, by characteristics of service “input” (residents’ background and entry variables), and service “throughput” (the experience during shelter stay). The sample included 399 residents who entered the shelter between January 1995 and May 1997. Data was drawn from entry and exit forms routinely completed by shelter staff for each of the residents. A discriminant analysis performed on nine input and throughput variables derived two functions, which differentiate three destination groups: youngsters who returned home, those who were placed in a group or foster home, and those who left to an unknown or unconventional destination. The discussion focuses on the meaning and implications of these apparent success and failure cases.


                                                 Essay Review

Anthony N. Maluccio        287     Family Preservation or Adoption?

                                                  An Essay Review

 This essay reviews Does Family Preservation Serve a Child’s Best Interests? (Altstein & McRoy, 2000). The authors of the above volume take contrasting sides on this question. McRoy emphasizes the value of family preservation services, while Altstein proposes adoption as the preferred choice for vulnerable children at risk of extended out-of-home placement. After examining each author’s key points, I find McRoy’s argument to be more compelling.