Long-term outcomes of Sweden's Contact Family Program for children
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect, ISSN 0145-2134, E-ISSN 1873-7757, Vol. 37, no 6, 404-414 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Objectives: To assess the long-term impacts of Sweden's Contact Family Program (CFP) for children on participants' future outcome profiles, here conceptualized as combinations of outcomes related to mental health problems, public welfare receipt, illicit drug use, placement in out-of-home care, educational achievement, and offending. Methods: We analyzed longitudinal register data on more than 950,000 children born 1980-90, including 6693 children who entered CFP at 2-5 years of age, with a follow-up until 2008. Children's outcome profiles were identified by latent class analysis. The average program impact was estimated by means of propensity score matching. Results: Long-term outcomes for those who had received the intervention were not better than for matched peers who did not receive the intervention. Simulation-based sensitivity analyses indicate that some of our estimated negative treatment effects may be affected by unobserved factors related to program participation and outcomes. However, both selection and outcome effects must be extremely strong in order to generate notable positive effects of CFP participation. Conclusions: The results did not find support for CFP effectiveness in reducing risks of compromised long-term development in children. Since the intervention reaches a high-risk group of children and is popular among users, volunteer families and professionals, the program should be reinforced with knowledge-based components that target known risk factors for child welfare recipients.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 37, no 6, 404-414 p.
Children, Longitudinal, Latent class analysis, Propensity score matching, Respite care
Psychology Social Work
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-92268DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.01.009ISI: 000320680000006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-92268DiVA: diva2:638062