IFPS with Adoptive Families

The National Family Preservation Network, in association with Dr. Marianne Berry, conducted research on the use of IFPS with post-adoptive families in a project funded by a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Data on IFPS were provided by the state of Missouri.

The published research included these key findings:

• Services focused primarily on parent/child conflict, communication problems, the child’s emotional problems, and school problems.

Variable (N = 99)

n

%

Primary Problem Addressed in Adoption IFPS Intervention
Parent/child conflict

62

62.6

Communication skills

47

47.5

Parenting skills problems

47

47.5

Emotional problems

22

22.2

Physical abuse

19

19.1

Mental health problems

19

19.1

Pregnancy

13

13.1

School problems

13

13.1

Medical illness/disability

8

8.0

Physical violence

8

8.1

Delinquent behavior

7

7.1

Child neglect

4

4.0

Severe financial problems

3

3.0

Criminal behavior

2

2.0

Sexual abuse

2

2.0

Marital conflict

2

2.0

Runaway

2

2.0

Drug abuse

1

1.0

Developmental disability

1

1.0

Shelter

1

1.0

Other

10

10.1

• 83% of the adoptive families studied were preserved by the end of IFPS. At a 6-month follow-up point, 76% remained intact. No families contacted at the 6- or 12-month follow-up checks had legally disrupted.

Table 9: Case Outcomes

Variable (N = 99)

n

%

Type of Placement Originally Anticipated
Foster Home

42

42.4

Residential

39

39.4

Relative Care

7

7.1

Psychiatric Hospital

5

5.1

Detention

5

5.1

Emergency Shelter

1

1.0

Placement
No placements

82

82.8

Prior to IFPS services

9

9.1

During IFPS services

2

2.0

After IFPS services cease

6

6.1

• The adopted children who were most likely to experience placement during or after IFPS were those who were significantly older and IFPS was being used to reunify the family, rather than avert placement. Placement rates were highest for children served for delinquent or criminal behavior, running away, or where the family was experiencing physical violence, severe financial problems or medical illness or disability.

• The content of training for preservation workers who work with adoptive families is significantly enhanced with information of special importance to adoptive families. These content areas include grief and loss, attachment, parental expectations, and ways to enhance the parental characteristics of patience, flexibility, humor and acceptance.

• Findings from this study indicate the need for greater availability of IFPS services to adoptive families, given placement prevention rates in the 80% + range, and high parental satisfaction.

Click here to get the full report on IFPS with Post-Adoptive Families:
http://nfpn.org/articles/ifps-with-post-adoptive-families

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Posted by Priscilla Martens, NFPN Executive Director

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