This study will determine the effectiveness of a relationship-based intervention in
improving the interaction between caregivers and young children placed in their care.
Infants and toddlers who are placed into foster or adoptive care often exhibit a number of
behavioral, emotional, and physiological problems. In the absence of specialized services,
problems in the relationship between caregiver and child may develop; problems in the
child's functioning often persist and are exacerbated. This study will attempt to alleviate
the attachment and regulatory difficulties that affect many young children placed into care.
Children are randomly assigned to either an experimental group or to a treatment control
group for 3 years. The experimental group focuses on relational issues; the control group
focuses on cognitive development. Caregivers receiving the relational intervention are
trained to provide nurturing care, and to help children learn to develop adequate regulatory
skills. Caregivers in the treatment control group receive training designed to enhance
children's cognitive development. Caregivers in both groups will receive 10 home visits.
Observations of children and parents are used to assess participants.
- Toddler placed into foster care
- Resident of Delaware and surrounding counties in Pennsylvania and Maryland
- Significant medical problems