The number of children in foster care remains high, and most disturbing are the numbers of children whose abuse continues after system intervention. Faced by these challenges, child welfare legislation and policy have shifted away from the earlier standard of "reasonable efforts" toward reunification for children in foster care to a standard in which "the best interests of the child" have priority. The new goal calls for greater use of assessment tools in locating those families deemed to be "at risk" for further abuse. Here, we apply a family bonding perspective to address the practical side of risk assessment for those children already in foster care. We present a conceptual model that attaches numerical value to the various components of the parent-child bond and demonstrate how the model can be operationalized during supervised visitations. Using data from a family visitation center, we demonstrate the model's potential for interagency collaboration in the permanency placement decision-making process.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)