Neighbor To Family: Supporting Sibling Groups in Foster Care.
Rast, Jim. Rast, Jessica E.
Published: April-June 2014
Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services
Vol. 95, No. 2 , p. 83-91
Alliance for Children and Families
11700 West Lake Park Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53224
Neighbor To Family (NTF) is a foster care program that prepares sibling groups for permanency and the future through the use of professional caregivers; extensive training and support for caregivers; a team-based approach which includes family, kin, and caregivers as equal partners; and intentional and aggressive outreach to biological parents and extended family. This article reports on the first controlled study, using a propensity analysis, that compares outcomes for 417children receiving the NTF service with a matched group of 417 children receiving traditional foster care services.Matching demonstrated significant improvement in placement within county, placement with siblings, stability of placement, time to permanent placement, and cost of care for the children receiving NTF services compared to the children who received other forms of foster care. The studies are discussed in terms of their implications for foster care practice and the use of propensity matching to expand research opportunities. (Author abstract)
siblings; sibling relationships; foster care; permanency; sibling visits