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International Journal of Child & Family Welfare



ISSN 1378-286X  /  Volume 14 Numbers 3/4, July-December 2011

Table of contents and Article Abstracts

86  /  They have left the building: A review of aftercare services' outcomes for adolescents following residential youth care  /  Harder, A.I, Kalverboer, M.E., & Knorth, EJ.

Research indicates that aftercare services can maintain the gains that are made during residential youth care and contribute to better long term outcomes. However, research also shows that the quality of aftercare services seems to be quite poor in practice. Therefore, this article offers a review about the current knowledge on the outcomes of aftercare services for adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems in residential youth care. In contrast to the expectations, the reviewed studies show little research evidence for the effectiveness of aftercare services following residential care. Several studies in the review indicate that aftercare can have positive outcomes, but the strength of this evidence is limited because of the weak evaluation methodology applied in the studies. In many studies the aftercare programs are not accurately described, so that it is un­clear of which components a program consists and which care factors are associated with positive outcomes. Young people completing aftercare programs tend to show better outcomes than young people leaving aftercare prematurely. None of the outcome studies focused on both youth and their families in aftercare programs following residential care, despite the fact that family-focused aftercare especially might improve long term outcomes of residential care. The results point to the need for more good quality research to make clear which aftercare services are successful for whom after leaving residential care.

105 /  Key concepts of parenting support in France and Germany  /  Join-Lambert Milova, H. & Sohre, S.

The research has been conducted simultaneously in the two countries, by two researchers follow­ing a common pattern. This included an overview of the institutional framework and the parent­ing support programmes run by different kinds of organisations at different levels, and a review of available research findings and assessments of these programmes. The results show that the number and variety of parenting support programmes are growing rapidly in both Germany and France. However, the approaches differ: German programmes are often presented as « parents' education )), whereas in France, the parents themselves are considered to be the best experts in educating their children. In France, parents are often just given individual advice either by other parents or by professional experts, while in Germany, said programmes tend to resemble training programmes including behavioural learning methods.

119  /  The development of children within alternative residential care environments  /  Julian, M.M & McCall, R.B.

Worldwide, children without permanent parents often enter alternative care arrangements (e.g., adoption, foster care, institutional care, or reunification with the birth family following alternative care), and many advocate placing such children in family-type care arrangements over institutions. The published literature on existing care alternatives suggests that adoptive families provide the best care, foster/guardianship arrangements an intermediate level of care, and biological families of formerly institutionalized children only slightly better care than the institutions. Further, differ­ent aspects of children's development (physical growth, attachment and social relationships, the prevalence of problem behaviors, and cognitive outcomes) follow the same sequence, but the qual­ity of care within a category is also associated with children's development. Scientific, practice, and policy implications are discussed with regard to both the preferences of international conventions and cultural values.

148  /  Attachment and adjustment of pre-adoptive parents  /  Migliorini, L. & Cavanna, D.

This paper presents the results of an exploratory study that examined attachment and couple adjustment in pre-adoptive parents. The objective of this research was to analyze the style of attachment, both generalized and specific, and the level of dyadic adjustment in couples judged capable of adoption and awaiting a baby. The research focused within the theoretical paradigm of attachment that connects these constructs to parental capabilities. The sample included 60 Italian individuals (30 couples). The research includes the Adult Attachment Interview and the Current Relationship Interview to evaluate feelings and behaviors connected with attachment in relation­ships and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale to measure the construct of couple adjustment.

161  /  Why it is especially important for social workers to build rapport with children in care: A case example   /  Mendis, K.

Children in care are highly vulnerable, especially during their first few years of entry to care, not only because of their pre-care experiences of abuse and/or neglect from the family of origin but also due to the placement instability in care. The children usually experience a number of short­term placements, at least initially, due to which they do not get the opportunity to become closer to anyone caring adult for a considerable time period in place of the parents from whom they have been removed. Consequently, they have to function in a world with no constant adult to care for them with whom they have bonded. This discussion suggests that social workers could fill in the void caused by the absence of a Significant adult in the lives of children in care and, uses a case example to illustrate this. 

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