Assessing the Efficacy of an Intervention to Enhance Visitation: Preliminary Results

Neely, Elisabeth
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University of Delaware
Foster children in the United States often face psychological and physiological problems. The foster visitation session, where the foster child can reconnect with the birth parent, is one aspect of the foster care system that has the potential to benefit the child. However, visitation sessions are often challenging for children and parents, and tension between the foster and birth parent may lead visits to stop altogether. Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up for Visitation (ABC-V) is an intervention focused on addressing common foster visitation problems. In this study, we examined the efficacy of the ABC-V intervention. In order to determine whether ABC-V affected sensitivity, we examined birth parent following the lead behaviors during the sessions. We also examined whether ABC-V eased tension between birth and foster parents, improving their relationship and therefore encouraging birth parents to attend sessions more regularly. Results demonstrated that the majority of birth parents who received the ABC-V intervention did show significantly more following than not following behaviors. In addition, social service agency reports showed an improved relationship between birth and foster parents who received the ABC-V intervention. Results are preliminary, but they suggest that ABC-V has a promising positive effect on foster care visitation sessions.