Re: Group Care
Still, shouldn’t group care be kept brief?
More "hospitalization" is not likely to improve outcomes.
As mentioned previously, repairing traumatic damage to the hippocampus through caring relationships takes more than three months and often requires intensive intervention and resources to shape lasting progress and outcomes that would prevent re-traumatization if returned to the foster care system or to the family.
Where possible, Teaching-Family Model agencies work with the families of children with reunification as a goal, and both the child and the family need time to make this progress, which may occur at different rates.
Isn’t group care a waste of resources?
Failing just one high-risk youth can cost society $3.75 million dollars (Cohen, Piquero, 2009).
Boys Town's analysis suggests that every $1 dollar spent on residential services has the potential to save $198 - $340 dollars in long-term societal costs.
In addition, Teaching-Family Model agencies are often community-based and take advantage of services already offered in the community in order to use resources as efficiently as possible.
Shouldn’t kids be in more family-like settings than group care?
Teaching-Family Model care is a family-like setting. The groups are small - generally limited to six children per two Teaching Parents.
Some Teaching Parent couples raise their own children in the home as well, so the setting is exactly that - a family. Teaching-Family Model agencies are able to provide a large amount of support to children who need it while maintaining a family-like environment.
But what about peer contagion; aren’t the children in group care bad influences?
17 of 18 recent meta-analytic studies, and research out of a Teaching-Family Model agency - Boys Town - have shown no negative peer contagion effects in quality residential care.
High quality residential care programs foster healthy relationships and a positive peer culture.
Doesn’t group care traumatize kids? Isn’t it a last resort?
Trauma-informed care and group care are not mutually exclusive.
In fact, the original standards of the Teaching-Family Model align closely with the principles of trauma-informed care.
The Teaching-Family Association has also added a trauma-informed standard that overlaps with many other standards to emphasize its importance in agency reviews.
Doesn’t group care result in negative outcomes?
40 years of research on the Teaching-Family Model suggest that high-quality residential programs have high levels of youth and family engagement and consistently demonstrate positive outcomes.
Most arguments against residential care do not differentiate between poor-quality and high-quality residential care, or even recognize the possibility of quality residential care.