Building Better Bonds between Teens and their Foster Parents

There are many parenting programs that focus on broad audiences, but very few that specifically target parent-child relationships within the child welfare system. In partnership with colleagues from the Social Development Research Group, POC researchers helped tailor an existing parenting program known to improve communication with teens in non-foster families for use in foster families.

The program, Connecting, aims to improve bonds between teens and foster parents, which in turn can make teens less vulnerable to risky behaviors, including substance abuse, violence or promiscuous sexual activity.

So far the program has promising results and information about the program and its development has been published in several journals. The team also secured $2.5 million to fund a five-year, randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of the program, which is currently underway.