“If only we knew…”: An exploratory study of parents of adopted adolescents seeking residential treatment
Adopted children are overrepresented in higher levels of clinical care (e.g., residential treatment centers), yet little is known about adoptive parents’ experiences parenting children with serious emotional disturbance, and the precursors to and aftermath of choosing out-of-home care—particularly in families formed via domestic private adoption. The current exploratory study used focus groups (11 adoptive parents, 9 families) to examine parents’ experiences of parenting and navigating care for their children, with attention to how children's challenges and placements impacted and were impacted by all family members. The findings underscore a variety of institutional challenges and barriers (e.g., lack of preparation by adoption agencies; inadequate mental health care services and insurance coverage) faced by adoptive families with a child with a severe emotional disturbance. The findings also highlight multifaceted strains to the family system associated with child mental health challenges, including strains on parents’ own well-being, their couple relationships, and sibling well-being. Implications for adoption agencies, family practitioners, school administrators, and researchers are discussed. © 2023 Elsevier Ltd
Children and Youth Services Review
Goldberg, Abbie; Virginia, Haylie; Logan, Maddie; Silvert, Lea; and McCormick, Nora, "“If only we knew…”: An exploratory study of parents of adopted adolescents seeking residential treatment" (2023). Psychology. 19.