Vetenskapliga artiklar om Skolfam

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Adopting & Fostering, Volume 35, Number 1:2011

Improving foster children’s school achievements – Promising results from a Swedish intensive study
Poor academic performance in primary school seems to be a robust predictor for future psychosocial problems for all children and adolescents. A series of recent national cohort studies by Vinnerljung et al (2010) showed that Swedish children who grow up in foster care had substantially lower performance in primary school than their peers with similar cognitive ability. Foster children in long-term care also displayed higher risks (RR = 6–10) for future suicide attempts, serious criminality, substance misuse, long-term dependence on public welfare and several other negative outcomes. This increase in risk was reduced by roughly half after adjustment for school failure.

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Adopting & Fostering, Volume 38, Number 1:2014

Improving foster children’s school performance – a replication of the Helsingborg study

A replication of the Helsingborg study (Tideman, et al., 2011) was conducted in the municipality of Norrköping in 2008–2011. Results confirm the conclusions from the original study that children in foster care can benefit from a working model aimed to improve school performance.

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Children and Youth Services Review, 2017 (82), 466-476

Improving school performance among Swedish foster children: A quasi experimental study exploring outcomes of the Skolfam model

The educational underachievement of foster children has long been known and interventions aiming to improve school achievements in this population are highly warranted. The Skolfam model is a Swedish preventive approach with the primary goal to improve school performance among foster children. This quasi-experimental study aimed to explore the effects of Skolfam in comparison with the effects of ordinary support from the local community among foster children in Sweden. The study comprised one baseline assessment and one follow-up assessment, including both psychological and pedagogical outcome measures. In total, 91 foster children were included, of which 54 participated in the intervention group (Skolfam) and 37 participated in the comparison group. Children who had been given support in accordance with Skolfam showed minor improvements with weak effects on perceptual reasoning, general cognitive ability and literacy skills relative to the comparison group. These improvements were found regardless of gender, native language, signs of intellectual deficiency or having been replaced in a new foster home and/or in other societal care. For foster children in Sweden, the Skolfam model could be considered promising in improving school performance and may serve as a protective factor against adverse outcomes. Given the limited sample size, further research on this topic should be conducted before firm conclusions are drawn.

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Children and Youth Services Review, 2020 (108), 104598
Challenging intellectual, behavioral and educational prerequisites for interventions aimed at school aged children in foster care. A compilation of Swedish test results

Children in foster care constitute a vulnerable group with higher risks for exposure to poorer health, adverse experiences during childhood and poor performance in school. School success is considered one of the most important factors to prevent future adversity and there is a growing interest in society for school results for children in foster care or other out-of-home care arrangements. The purpose of this study was to outline prerequisites for interventions aimed at school performance for children in foster care, related to those in normal population studies. In this study assessments of intelligence, literacy and numeracy skills, mental and behavioral conditions were compiled from 856 children in foster care, between preschool class and 7th grade from 22 Swedish municipalities. Results show lower scores in intelligence, most prominent in working memory, adaptive behavior, literacy and numeracy, and more behavioral problems. Ingroup comparisons showed less favorable scores for boys than girls in general, except in mathematics. These findings call for a need to adapt learning conditions in school by individual assessments of children in out-of-home care, rather than assuming age-typical prerequisites.

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Frontiers in Psychology, 24 april 2020, 00718
Improved Intelligence, Literacy and Mathematic Skills Following School-Based Intervention for Children in Foster Care
Interventions aimed at improving school performance for children in foster care are few and are generally not implemented. By preventing failure in school, the prospect of reducing the risk for future poor health, substance abuse, unemployment, and other detrimental social conditions are met. This paper focuses on the change of preconditions for compulsory school performance in out-of-home care children, following an intervention called “Skolfam” that aims to improve school performance by individual assessments and school-based interventions. In this study, data were compiled from prospective repeated tests of 475 children in foster care in Sweden. Educational preconditions were analysed for compulsory school performance, such as intelligence (WISC-IV), psychosocial (SDQ) and adaptive behavior (ABAS-II), literacy (Reading Chains) and mathematical skills (Magne Mathematic Diagnoses) before and after the first 2 years of the “Skolfam” intervention. All tests were age-standardized and performed by experienced professionals. The results showed improved skills in complex aspects of literacy, mathematics, and cognitive performance, but no improvement in less complex literacy skills, adaptive behavior or mental health symptoms. In conclusion, higher-order cognitive functions can develop positively when appropriate school support is provided. Affective function, adaptive behavior, and psychosocial well-being present a more pervasive challenge for children in foster care. Implications for future research, practice in social services, and school is that further development of methods to aid future prospects for children in out-of-home care should aim to improve both cognitive higher-order executive-, and affective functions.

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