The effectiveness of a group-based tutorial direct instruction program for long-term foster care children: a randomized controlled trial
Harper, Julie Michelle
DisciplinePsychology : Clinical
SubjectFoster care children
Academic needs of foster children
Mental health needs of foster children
Long term outcomes for foster children
MetadataShow full item record
Children in foster care are frequently behind in educational achievement (Flynn, Ghzal, Legault, Vandermeulen, & Petrick, 2004) and perform below grade level (Trout, Hagaman, Casey, Reid, & Epstein, 2008 for a review). Vacca (2008) found that children in foster care perform seven to eight percentile points lower in achievement test scores when compared to children in the general population. Furthermore, research has shown that youth in out-of-home care are more likely to drop out of school, and are three times more likely to be suspended due to problem behaviours, which affect academic performance and attainment (Zima et al., 2000). For the long term success of these children, efforts at successful academic remediation are critical. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a direct instruction literacy and math program (“Teach Your Children Well”; TYCW) in a small group format to educationally disadvantaged children in foster care. Across the two years of the study, 101 children in long-term foster care, between grades 1 and 8 inclusive, participated in this randomized control trial intervention. One-half were randomly assigned to the 30-week experimental TYCW condition, while the other half served as waitlist controls. Children were assessed at baseline and post-intervention on word reading, spelling, sentence comprehension, and mathematic skills using an academic measure of functioning, the Wide Range Achievement Test Forth Edition (WRAT4). In addition, children were assessed at baseline and post-intervention across teacher rated academic performance in the classroom using the Academic Competence Evaluation Scale (ACES).
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