KEEP is an evidence-based support and skill enhancement education program for foster and kinship carers of children aged four to 12 and young people. The program supports foster and kin families by promoting child well-being and preventing placement breakdowns.
KEEP is based on the Social Learning Theory framework; an intensive fixed term home-based care placement supporting children and young people with severe emotional and behavioral disorders.
KEEP supports a broader foster and kinship carer population in a group setting by:
• Reinforcing normative (“usual”) and positive behavior
• Incentivising positive behavior
• Building cooperation
• Teaching new behaviors
• Limit setting
When compared to foster carers who received case work services as usual, research demonstrates that carers who participated in KEEP had positive effects including:
• Fewer placement disruptions
• Children had lower levels of behavioral and emotional challenges
• Foster carers dropped out of providing foster care less frequently
KEEP Groups are support groups for foster and kinship carers with a framework of evidence-based parenting strategies and support.
They are interactive and participatory and designed to be flexible and fun, synthesising the real and current experiences of foster and kinship carers with lessons learned from research about effective parenting.
KEEP groups typically include seven to ten foster and kinship carers who attend 16 weekly 90-minute sessions that focus on practical, research-based parenting techniques.