Publication Date

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Counselor Education

Abstract

There is little research on the effectiveness of group psychotherapy for children in foster care (Craven & Lee, 2006; Mellor & Storer, 1995; Williams, Fanolis, & Schamess, 2001). Youth in foster care are an at-risk population who generally are more vulnerable to various psychological issues including neglect and abandonment as well being predisposed to mental health problems from first generation biological parents (Clausen, Landsverk, Ganger, Chadwick, & Litrownik, 1998; Garwood & Close, 2001). This study evaluates the effect of attachment theory on children as it relates to psychopathology and behavior. According to Howe (2006) abused and neglected children with dysfunctional attachment relationships suffer more complex and profound impairments as they experience the worst facets of both avoidant and ambivalent custodial environments. In addition, this writer will review the history of the various social service organizations that impact children who enter the child welfare system. The primary objective of this study is to measure the effectiveness of group psychotherapy as a therapeutic intervention for children in foster care (CFC). Children in foster care are often a population whose therapeutic goals and objectives tend to focus on psychopathology and behavior management but little attention is paid to the culture and experiential component of what its like to be a child in foster care. A child from nowhere and whose identity, culture and caregiver may shift with each new environmental transition or experience.

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