This paper documents the high levels of emotional and behavioural difficulties demonstrated by young people placed within a therapeutic fostering environment, and the provision of therapy for these difficulties. Whilst foster carers were positive about the support provided both to themselves and to the young people, there was no significant change in the levels of difficulties shown during the course of the study. Children showing higher levels of difficulty early in the placement were more likely to experience a placement disruption than those with lower levels of difficulty. The research suggests that it may be possible to identify those more likely to be at risk of placement disruption, using screening tools such as the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (Goodman 1997). Furthermore, the research indicates that support mechanisms, including therapeutic interventions, for the foster carers and young people need to be implemented early to help stabilise and maintain these high-risk placements, and that delay in doing so may jeopardise the placement.
- foster care, emotional and behavioural difficulties, Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, therapeutic interventions