What works in group care? A structured review of treatment models for group homes and residential care

JAMES Sigrid
Journal article citation:
Children and Youth Services Review, 33(2), February 2011, pp.308-321.

Group care is a broad term that encompasses many different forms of residentially-based placements and treatment services provided to children and youth with a wide range of needs. This paper presents findings from a structured review of treatment models that are relevant to group care and residential treatment settings for children involved with the child welfare system. The review was initiated and guided by The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare. A literature search revealed 5 models relevant to group care: Positive Peer Culture, Teaching Family Model; Sanctuary Model; Stop-Gap Model; and Re-ED. Outcome studies were reviewed and rated in terms of their effectiveness. In the paper, each model's treatment features are described, and the evidence for the model’s effectiveness as well as relevance for child welfare practice are discussed. The findings rate 4 of the models as either being supported by research evidence or being promising. The Re-ED model could not be rated due to lack of evaluative data which would meet CEBC rating criteria. Implications for group care practice and research are discussed.

Subject terms:
models, residential child care, treatment, therapy and treatment, young people, children, evidence-based practice;
Content type:
systematic review
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