Foster Care Research Group

The Foster Care Research Group (FCRG) studies the well-being of current and former foster youth.

Since 2000, the FCRG has evaluated therapist reports of long-term, pro bono mental health interventions with foster youth provided through A Home Within. More recently, the FCRG has increased its focus on capturing the experiences of youth, from their perspective. We have several projects focused on youths’ perceptions of mental health service delivery and barriers to mental health services. Moreover, understanding that not all youth want, and/or need, mental health services, we also have projects in development examining potential protective factors supporting well-being, with specific focus on sibling relationships.

Current Projects

Clinical Chapters
This longitudinal study tracks treatment outcomes of current and former foster youth in psychotherapy provided through A Home Within. Data is collected at multiple time points, described below.

  • Referral
    The FCRG collects data on all current and former foster youth referred to A Home Within therapy. This includes self- and third party- report data focused on demographic information and presenting concerns.
  • Screening Forms
    The FCRG collects additional information through A Home Within once clients are matched with therapists. Data focuses on client demographics, mental health needs, and mental health history.
  • Annual Therapist Interview
    The FCRG conducts annual therapist interviews over the course of mental health treatment on patient and therapist demographics, treatment parameters, presenting issues, and treatment progress.

Foster Youth Perspectives
Too often, youth are not included as participants in research due to access issues. We strive to works towards inclusion through community-based participatory research that includes foster youth as part of the research design team.

Our focus is on:

  • perceptions of mental health care, including barriers and best practices
  • supportive relationships, including qualities of these relationships in and out of treatment
  • recommendations for research