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Family and Children's
Resource Program

Vol. 18, No. 1
January 2013

Promising Evidence-Based Interventions for Children Who Have Experienced Neglect

Adapted from National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2012; California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, 2012

Attachment and Biobehavioral
Catch-Up (ABC)

Short-term, in-home intervention to improve attachment regulation and bio-behavioral regulation in maltreated children.

Duration. Ten, 1-hour sessions that rely on video-feedback and homework.

Target Population. Infants and toddlers placed in foster care, relative care, or living with their birth parents.

Program Goals and Intervention Strategies. Strengthen parents' or caregivers' sensitivity and responsiveness to infant's cues and help them provide an environment in which they are able to cultivate a young child's regulatory abilities.

Evidence of Effectiveness. Young children who received the ABC intervention developed more secure attachments to their caregivers more frequently, showed more normative patterns of cortisol production (indicative of improved stress regulation), and demonstrated better behavioral regulation than children who received a control intervention.

Availability in NC
The Center for Child and Family Health offers ABC in the Durham County area and is bringing it to Project Broadcast counties (Buncombe, Craven, Cumberland, Hoke, Pender, Pitt, Scotland, Union, and Wilson); the ABC contact at CCFH is Ashley Alvord

Others interested in ABC should contact ABC's creator, Dr. Mary Dozier

Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)
Trauma treatment model for improving social-emotional, behavioral, and cognitive functioning in children exposed to interpersonal violence and other traumas.

Duration. One year. Involves fifty-two, 60- to 90-minute sessions conducted in the family's home or in a community agency, or outpatient clinic.

Target Population. Children aged 0-5 who experience mental health, attachment, and/or behavioral problems as a result of traumatic events.

Program Goals and Intervention Strategies. Helps the parent and child co-create a trauma narrative and make positive meaning of traumatic events. Enhances parent's capacity to provide physical and emotional safety for the child through a focus on attachment and affect regulation. Treatment also focuses on contextual factors that may affect the parent-child relationship, such as cultural norms and socioeconomic stressors.

Evidence of Effectiveness. Compared to control groups, after CPP: children who witnessed domestic violence showed greater reductions in behavior problems and traumatic stress symptoms; the rate of secure attachment in maltreated infants improved significantly; maltreated preschoolers showed better self-esteem and attitude towards the mother; toddlers of depressed moms showed more secure attachment and improved cognitive functioning.

Availability in NC
There are clinicians trained in CPP in Chatham, Durham, Orange, Person, Mecklenburg, and Wake counties.

Groups interested in a CPP learning collaborative should contact Donna Potter (; right now she's the only endorsed CPP trainer in North Carolina.

Intensive family preservation services treatment program for preventing unnecessary placement of children in foster care, group care, psychiatric hospitals, or juvenile justice facilities.

Duration. An average of 4-6 weeks. Three to five sessions/week; an average of 8-10 hours/week of face-to-face contact, with phone contact between sessions.

Target Population. Families with children 0-18 at imminent risk of placement into foster care, group, or residential treatment, psychiatric hospitals, or juvenile detention.

Program Goals and Intervention Strategies. Reduce abuse and neglect, family conflict, and child behavior problems and teach families to prevent placement. Engages families by delivering services in their natural environment, at times when they are most receptive to learning, and by enlisting them as partners.

Evidence of Effectiveness. Compared to control group, children in Homebuilders spent more time in their own home during the 6-month and 12-month follow-up periods. At the end of the 15-month study period, 70% of children who were in the program remained home, compared to 47% of children in the control group.

Availability in NC
Available in all counties as part of NC's Intensive Family Preservation Services Program.

To find the Homebuilders/IFPS provider in your county, contact the NC Division of Social Services' Michelle Reines

References for this and other articles in this issue