The aims of the present study were, first, to establish the effect of brief, in-home intensive family preservation programs on prevention of out-of-home placement, family functioning, child behavior problems and social support and, second, to study moderators of these effects.
The results of this meta-analytic study, consisting of 20 studies (31,369 participants), show that intensive family preservation programs had a medium and positive effect on family functioning (d = .486), but were generally not effective in preventing out-of-home placement. Intensive family preservation programs were effective in preventing placement for multi-problem families, but not for families experiencing abuse and neglect.
Moreover, the effect on out-of-home placement proved to be moderated by client characteristics (sex and age of the child, parent age, number of children in the family, single-parenthood, non-white ethnicity), program characteristics (caseload),study characteristics (study design and study quality), and publication characteristics (publication type, publication year and journal impact factor).
The discussion addresses implications for evaluation and practice.
(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract).
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