Research

The original research trial for KEEP was conducted by Dr Patti Chamberlain and her colleagues in San Diego between 1999 – 2004 and was published in Prevention Science 2008 (Vol 9, pp 17-27).  The resulting sample consisted of 700 foster families (34% kinship and 66% foster carers). ) of mixed heritage (Hispanic (36%), Caucasian (28%), African American (27%), Asian (3%), Native American (1%)

The key findings included:

  • an increase in the levels of positive reinforcement from carers
  • a decrease in the number of child behaviour problems (partly attributed to the high levels of positive reinforcement being used by carers)
  • the effect was most evident where the child had relatively high levels of initial behaviour problems
  • re-unification rates were higher and placement disruption rates were lower compared to the control group

A UK independent evaluation of KEEP Standard was completed by Ipsos MORI, and was published by the DfE in 2016. A short infographic summary is available here.

The key findings included:

  • strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires  (Goodman 1997)   completed by carers in KEEP Standard showed significant improvements from baseline to follow-up on the sub-scale scores of emotional distress and prosocial behaviours compared with the control group. No statistically significant differences were found on the total SDQ score or on sub-scales relating to conduct problems, hyperactivity or peer problems.
  • improvements in Parenting Scale  (Arnold, et al 1993) ratings were observed for both the intervention and control groups; however, the intervention group showed significantly greater improvements compared with the control group at follow-up.
  • qualitative interviews were held with 15 carers who had completed the training.  They were very positive about the KEEP programme, and particularly praised the format of sharing strategies and experiences with other carers. Carers felt that the programme improved how they responded to challenging behaviour and equipped them with new strategies. Most carers described changes in their child’s behaviour as a consequence.
  • the qualitative interviews suggested some improvements in placement stability and the potential avoidance of costs resulting from carers seeking additional support to manage children’s challenging behaviours

The evaluation also noted that foster carers' experience of the programme was very positive. 

To download a short summary of the Independent Evaluation, click here. 

To read the full report, click here.

There was also a paper published in 2016, titled: “We know it works but does it last?” The implementation of the KEEP foster and kinship carer training programme in England. For a summary of that paper, click here.