The Fostering Healthy Futures program is a NIH-funded preventive intervention for preadolescent children in foster care. This research-based clinical program assesses the academic, mental health, and behavioral functioning of preadolescent youth in foster care. A subset of children receive an intensive prevention program aimed at reducing adolescent risk behaviors such as delinquency, substance use and sexual risk behaviors, and improving academic achievement, mental health, and social functioning. Children in the intensive intervention attend a 30-week therapeutic skills group where they focus on attaining communication, problem-solving, and anger management skills, as well as skills to resist peer pressure and keep themselves safe. The group enables them to process the experience of placement in out-of-home care, and reduces stigma associated with foster care placement. The children also receive intensive mentoring and advocacy from graduate students in social work, and the program provides training and supervision for these graduate students.
Medical students would have the opportunity to analyze data from the child, youth, and caregiver interviews we conduct, as well as examine juvenile justice, academic, medical and child welfare records. There are clinical opportunities available on the project as well.