Program

Fostering Individualized Assistance Program (FIAP)

Sep 12, 2008

OVERVIEW

The Fostering
Individualized Assistance Program (FIAP) employs a series of clinical
interventions that are aimed at reducing emotional and behavioral problems in
children within the foster care system. FIAP program specialists train key
adults in the children’s lives to provide the children with stable homes,
clinical treatment, and various additional support services. In an evaluation
of the intervention, 132 children were randomly assigned to receive either FIAP
services or standard services for foster children. Results indicated more
favorable outcomes for children receiving the intervention compared with
children in the standard services group on length of time spent on a runaway, on
number of placement changes, and on achieving a permanent placement. However,
during the post-intervention period, children in the treatment and control
groups did not significantly differ on number of runaway incidents or on time
spent incarcerated.

DESCRIPTION
OF PROGRAM

Target
population: 
Children with severe emotional and/or behavioral problems who
are in, or at risk for, institutional or foster home placements.

The Fostering
Individualized Assistance Program is a wraparound-services program that employs
key adults in a child’s life to carry out an individually tailored case
management plan. The intervention has two major goals: 1) to stabilize foster
care placements and develop feasible permanency plans, and 2) to improve
emotional and behavioral adjustment in children.

The case management
is initially delivered by family-centered, clinical program specialists, who
work in collaboration with caseworkers, other providers such as teachers and
therapists, foster parents, and biological families. During this active
treatment phase, the adults work together to formulate and provide four critical
intervention components: 1) strengths-based assessments, which identify child’s
goals and potentials; 2) life-domain planning, (or e.g. devising a permanency
placement plan); 3) clinical case management, (e.g. therapy and clinical
treatment plans); and 4) follow-along support. Over time, children and
treatment teams enter the maintenance phase, when these case management
responsibilities are gradually transferred to the adults who are closest to the
child.

The treatment team
typically meets monthly throughout the active and maintenance phases of the
program to discuss plans and progress with the implementation of treatments.
Treatment continues until the team agrees that the interventions are no longer
necessary.

EVALUATION(S)
OF PROGRAM

Clark, H. B.,
Lee, B., Prange, M. E., McDonald, B. A. (1996). Children lost within the foster
care system: Can wraparound service strategies improve placement outcomes? Journal of Child and Family Studies, 5,39-54.

Evaluated
population:
A total of 132 children between the ages of 7 and 15 who were living in
foster care served as the sample for this evaluation. All of the children in
the sample were either emotionally or behaviorally disturbed or were at high
risk for these types of disturbances.

Approach:
Children were randomly assigned to receive either the FIAP intervention or to
receive standard foster care services. Children in both groups were provided
with typical foster care services, but children in the FIAP group received the
treatment intervention in addition to the typical treatments.

Children in the
FIAP group were each assigned an FIAP program specialist. These specialists
first met with a child’s foster caseworker, additional providers such as
teachers and therapists, foster parents, and biological families. As a team,
these adults assessed children’s needs for various services and discussed how to
foster growth based on their successes, strengths, and potentials. The team
also developed permanency placement and clinical case management plans, as well
as means of providing follow-along services.

Data on rates of
placement changes, runaway incidents, incarceration, and permanency placements
were collected from children, caregivers, and administrative records. The data
accounted for the period of time between entrance into the foster care system
and entrance into the study and for the period between entrance into the study
and about 2.5 years later.

Results:
Results indicated that, after receiving the FIAP intervention, individuals
experienced fewer placement changes and spent less time as a runaway, compared
to the period of time before the intervention. In contrast, individuals in the
standard services group experienced increases on these indicators after entrance
into the study. No difference occurred in the number of runaways they
experienced after entering the study. Furthermore, for the subset of
individuals incarcerated after entrance into the study, there were not
significant differences across groups in regard to amount of time spent
incarcerated. However, it is worth noting that children in the standard
services group were 1.6 times more likely than students in the FIAP intervention
to be incarcerated for more than half the time following their entry into the
study. Finally, children receiving the FIAP intervention were significantly
more likely to be placed in permanency homes at the time of data analysis than
children in the standard services control group.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Clark, H. B., Lee,
B., Prange, M. E., McDonald, B. A. (1996). Children lost within the foster care
system: Can wraparound service strategies improve placement outcomes? Journal of Child and Family Studies, 5,39-54.

KEYWORDS: Adolescents, Children, High-Risk, Co-ed, Clinic/Provider-Based, Delinquency, Parent or Family Component, Home Visitation, Counseling/Therapy, Behavior Problems,Social/Emotional Health

Program
information last updated on 9/12/08.

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