Methods: This symposium focused on intervention data that helps us: 1) Understand the characteristics and needs of adoptive/guardianship caregivers, 2) Identify child and caregivers factors associated with family wellbeing, and 3) Examine the psychometric properties and usefulness of standardized scales and survey questions designed or adapted for post permanency families. The studies in this symposium used a range of quantitative methods, including exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (to evaluate the factor structure of a scale), as well as bivariate and multivariate analyses of variables (e.g., t-tests, chi-square tests, ANOVA, OLS regression).
Results: Survey results provide evidence that specific characteristics of caregivers (e.g., female, biological relationship to the child) are associated with responding to outreach. Further, a younger child age and family factors (e.g., younger caregiver age and higher caregiver commitment) were associated with better scores on some standardized measures of wellbeing, such as the Protective Factors Survey. Findings also indicate that single-item survey questions showed strong associations with issues of family belonging and emotional security.
Conclusions and Implications: The symposium provides evidence that systematic outreach prevention efforts to identify and support post adoptive/guardianship families can reach a substantial proportion of those eligible for contact (i.e., about 40-70%, depending on the site). Practitioners and researchers may use certain standardized measures, such as the BEST or the BPI, or even short scales that assess caregiver commitment, to identify and target services to families who are most at risk for placement instability and poor wellbeing. However, results also support that post adoptive/guardianship families are diverse and face complex issues related to post-permanency adjustment, such differential outcomes based on race, child age at the time of permanence, caregiver age, and caregiver commitment that require further study with longitudinal and qualitative research designs to better ascertain how post adoptive and guardianship families' needs tend to change over time.