A small experiment in Oregon funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau showed that, when compared to foster parents who received case work services as usual, parents who participated in a KEEP group had fewer placement breakdowns, had children with lower levels of behavioral and emotional problems, and provided foster care for a longer period of time (i.e., they didn’t drop out from providing care).
A larger randomized effectiveness trial funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in San Diego showed that, compared to case work services as usual, parents who participated in KEEP had children who were reunified more frequently with biological or adoptive parents and were less likely to disrupt from their foster care placements. The effects for preventing disruption were strongest for children who had been placed in multiple previous foster homes. Children in the KEEP foster homes also had lower rates of behavior problems than children in the “as usual” control condition. (Note: The peer reviewed research reports on these outcomes may be found on the Publications page.)
After the NIMH trial ended in 2005, the San Diego Health and Human Services continued to implement KEEP as part of its regular services to foster and kinship parents. In 2007 the National Association of Counties named San Diego County an Achievement Award Winner for its work on KEEP “…in recognition of an effective and innovative program which contributes to and enhances county government in the United States.”
Oxford Research has prepared a mid-term evaluation of the implementation of KEEP across five municipalities in Denmark, which began in 2015. Initial findings show that the program is effective in reducing parental stress and children’s behavioral problems. The evaluation also focuses on the implementation process with recommendations for sites intending to implement KEEP in the future.