Independent Evidence Review of Post-Adoption Support Interventions. Research Report.
Stock, Laura. Spielhofer, Thomas. Gieve, Matthew.
United Kingdom Department of Education. Tavistock Institute of Human Relations.
Published: June 2016
United Kingdom Department for Education
Piccadilly Gate Store Street
Manchester, M1 2WD, Tel: 0370 000 2288
Fax: 0161 600 1332
This report presents the main findings from a review of available evidence relating to 15 adoption support therapeutic interventions between August and November 2015. The interventions were selected as those that are most frequently funded through the Adoption Support Fund (ASF) or judged to be most high profile in the field of adoption support. This review was an initial step in a longer-term process led by the Department for Education (DfE) to improve the evidence base in post-adoption therapeutic support in the United Kingdom. The study reviewed the following interventions: Theraplay, Creative therapies, Filial Therapy (FT), Psychotherapy, Non-Violent Resistance (NVR), AdOpt, Break4Change, Multisystemic Therapy (MST), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Nurturing Attachments, SafeBase, Therapeutic Parenting Training, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) and Equine Therapy. Findings indicate: there were very few robust published studies providing evidence of the effectiveness of the 15 interventions for adopted children and/or adoptive parents; there was very little robust published research on the effectiveness of play therapies for adopted children and no robust published studies from the UK; Multisystemic Therapy (MST) has been rigorously evaluated and was therefore classified as evidence-based; there is little research on the effectiveness of interventions aimed at addressing child violence/offending behavior specifically for adopted children or adoptive parents; EMDR is an evidence-based intervention for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); DBT was classified as an evidence-based form of cognitive behavioral therapy designed for people with borderline personality disorder, however, there is no robust published research on the effectiveness of DBT and EMDR for adopted children; and psychotherapy is categorized as evidence-based, but research is stronger for some types of approaches, particularly for cognitive behavior therapy. Recommended steps are discussed for building the evidence base. Numerous references. (Author abstract modified)
United Kingdom; post adoption services; adoptive parents; adopted children; evidence based practice; cognitive therapy; psychotherapy; play therapy; attachment behavior; promising practices