Foster family care is associated with adverse short- and long-term consequences for the child. A systematic review was conducted on interventions for foster children and foster carers.
A comprehensive search process was used to find eligible interventions evaluated in randomized controlled trials or quasi-experimental studies. The quality of studies was assessed with GRADE, and effects were synthesized using meta-analytic methods.
In all, 28 publications of 18 interventions, including 5,357 children, were identified. Only three specific interventions had sufficient confidence of evidence. No study had examined tools for foster parent selection nor had evaluated preservice programs related to outcomes.
These analyses provide new insights and hope into the field of systematic interventions in foster care. The overall results indicate that it is possible to improve eight outcomes but cannot point out which programs are superior. Ethically, social care organizations should systematically collect knowledge about effects and side effects.