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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2005): Child Welfare - Overseas

THE EARLY INTERVENTION FOSTER CARE PROGRAM: PERMANENT PLACEMENT OUTCOMES FROM A RANDOMISED TRIAL

P.A. Fisher, B. Burraston and K. Pears

Child Maltreatment, vol.10, 2005, p.61-71

Describes results of a randomised trial to evaluate the Oregon Early Intervention Foster Care Program (EIFC). The Program offers foster carers extensive training and support, children individual therapy, and birth parents or other permanent placement resources parenting training. Children in the EIFC had significantly fewer permanent placements than children in the regular foster care comparison condition. The number of prior placements was positively associated with risk of permanent placement failure for children in the comparison group but not for children in the EIFC.

FROM FOSTER CARE TO YOUNG ADULTHOOD: THE ROLE OF INDEPENDENT LIVING PROGRAMS IN SUPPORTING SUCCESSFUL TRANSITIONS

K. Lemon, A.M. Hines and J. Merdinger

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.27, 2005, p.251-270

Using data from the Pathways to College Study, article presents two analyses exploring the potentially beneficial role of independent living programmes (ILPs) for young people in foster care. ILP services focus on teaching concrete skills associated with self-sufficiency such as budgeting. ILP participants are most likely to form close supportive relationships with their case workers and to maintain contact with them after leaving the programme. Recent legislation has increased funding and flexibility in ILP services.

SUPPORTING CHILDREN? THE IMPACT OF CHILD SUPPORT POLICIES ON CHILDREN'S WELL BEING IN THE UK AND AUSTRALIA

T. Ridge

Journal of Social Policy, vol.34, 2005, p.121-142

Article presents a comparative "child-focused" analysis of child support policies in the UK and Australia. It assesses how children have fared in each country in relation to three key criteria:

  • the extent to which child support policies have reduced child poverty;
  • the extent to which child support policies have reduced conflict between parents;
  • how equitable child support policies are in relation to children in "first" and "second" families.

Concludes that child support policies in both countries have failed in several critical areas to put children's interests first.

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