Preparing and Partnering with Families to Support the Adoption of Children from Foster Care.
Edelstein, Susan B. Gonzalez, Araceli. Langley, Audra K. Waterman, Jill. Paasivirta, Maria. Paczkowski, Emilie.
Published: January-February 2017
Vol. 20, No. 1 , p. 119-133
Taylor and Francis Group
530 Walnut Street Suite 850
Philadelphia, PA 19106
This investigation evaluated the effectiveness of a pre-placement education and preparation curriculum (PREP) for prospective foster/adoptive parents in improving attitudes toward children with prenatal substance exposure and their substance-using birth parent and increasing willingness to adopt these children. Participants included 1,836 prospective parents seeking adoption through foster care who received three 3-hour sessions of PREP. Prospective parents completed questionnaires assessing their knowledge about important issues involved in adopting a child from foster care, attitudes, and willingness to adopt children with a variety of characteristics. Changes from pre- to post-intervention were examined. Results indicated significant increases in self-reported knowledge; significantly more positive attitudes toward substance-abusing parents and children with prenatal substance exposure; and significantly increased willingness to adopt children with a variety of potential difficulties, including children with serious behavior problems, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and a biological history of mental illness. In sum, findings suggest that prospective adoptive parents who attended the PREP sessions felt better prepared by the end of training with regard to issues related to adoption of high-risk foster children with special needs, particularly those with prenatal substance exposure. (Author abstract)
ADOPTION PREPARATION; ADOPTION PROCESS; ADOPTIVE PARENTS; foster children; parent education; prenatal drug exposure; substance abusing parents; adoptive families; foster families; parental attitudes; children with disabilities