Treatment Foster Care and relationships: Understanding the role of therapeutic alliance between youth and treatment parent


  • Mary E. Rauktis Pressley Ridge Services, Pittsburgh
  • Ana R. Vides de Andrade Vanderbilt University, Nashville
  • Ann Doucette Vanderbilt University, Nashville
  • Lucy McDonough Pressley Ridge, Dover
  • Shauna Reinhart Pressley Ridge Services, Pittsburgh


therapeutic alliance, treatment foster care, relationships


This study profiles the development of relationships between youths and treatment foster parents over the course of a year using a repeated measures design. While both youth and treatment parents report favorable therapeutic alliances, treatment parent alliance is generally higher than youth alliance. Both treatment parents and youth show a 'honeymoon' affect in which therapeutic alliance ratings decrease, followed by a gradual increase. The number of previous placements, diagnosis, severity of problem behaviors and resistance associate with different alliance growth trajectories for youth. In addition, treatment parents' race and the presence of biological children in the home also associate with different alliance trajectories. These findings are discussed in terms of the implications for policy, training and supervision, research and practice in treatment foster care.

Author Biography

Mary E. Rauktis, Pressley Ridge Services, Pittsburgh

Pressley Ridge Services, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.