Friday, January 17, 2020: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Marquis BR Salon 10, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Child Welfare (CW)
Kevin Haggerty, PhD, University of Washington
Adolescents entering foster care have substantial and exacerbated needs because of their histories of abuse, neglect, and consequential emotional and behavioral issues. Foster caregivers are regularly unready or unable to meet the parenting needs of these teens (Storer et al., 2014). Further, LGBTQ+ youth are often over-represented in the foster care system and face discrimination both inside and outside of the system. Foster caregivers must regularly address and cope with stressful issues that include foster children's relationships with their biological parents, family tensions, placement disruptions, allegations about their treatment of the foster child, and problems with social workers and agencies (Day et al., 2018; Salazar et al., 2o18). However, very few interventions to support positive youth development are designed with the unique circumstances of foster families in mind. Connecting is a low-cost, self-directed, theoretically supported program that has been adapted from an evidence-based universal parenting program. The program has been adapted to address the specific challenges facing foster parents and the teens in their care (Haggerty et al., 2016). Connecting is designed to strengthen relationships between foster parents and the teens in their care while seeking to reduce the negative effects of stressors that increase the risks of behavioral health problems. Additionally, a module has been added to the Connecting program to help caregivers better understand sexual orientation and gender identity expression (SOGIE). Three sessions will summarize work using the Connecting program. The first will focus on predictors of participation in the self-directed program. The second will examine proximal outcomes in a randomized controlled trial with 220 teen/caregiver dyads. Finally, the third will describe the development and implementation of a module focused on SOGIE using qualitative methods.
* noted as presenting author
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