Date of Conferral
Youth who are placed in the Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC) program come from families with multiple risk factors. The MTFC program is based on social learning theory, which posits that youth learn from modeling those in their environment. It is unclear whether motivation for social learning decreases over time. Past research has indicated that there is an efficacious time period for treatment in the MTFC program (6 to 9 months). The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the behavior effects of remaining in treatment foster care for an extended length of time. This was measured through pre- and posttreatment scores on the Children's Functional Assessment Rating Scale (CFARS) and specific negative behaviors tracked through the Foster Parent Daily Report. Archival data were used for a sample of 34 youth placed in an MTFC program in a northwestern state. The repeated measures ANOVA results demonstrated increased scores on the CFARS from intake to exit date. Regression analysis indicated that the behaviors of arguing and defiance were observed at higher instances for youth in the MTFC program longer than 6 to 9 months. There were no significant findings related to the behavior of destructiveness/vandalism and the length of stay. The implications for social change include social workers being able to move youth out of MTFC sooner. Also, if behaviors are targeted and treated successfully as youth, then there is a decreased likelihood of the youth having negative and criminal behavior as adults.