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The effectiveness of a child day-care program in child welfare services

Victoria Hidalgo, Lucía Jiménez, Víctor Grimaldi, Lara Ayala-Nunes and Isabel López-Verdugo

Children and Youth Services Review, 2018, vol. 89, issue C, 145-151

Abstract: Family support initiatives aimed at guaranteeing children's rights and preserving the family are undergoing extensive diversification, to meet the specific needs and strengths of families. Child day-care initiatives constitute a novel approach in child welfare services, as a way to complement family service for at-risk families. They are delivered in a child-group format and follow a psycho-educational methodology. This study analyzed the impact of a novel child day-care program on children's quality of life, adjustment and development, and explored the moderating role of different child and family dimensions on the program's impact. For this purpose, we followed a pretest-posttest evaluation with a control group (N = 83). The results showed improvements in different facets of children's quality of life, as well as a positive impact in other adjustment and developmental dimensions, such as social skills, internalizing problems, and intelligence. Interaction effects were found between internalizing problems and children's sex, and between academic competence and family risk level. In conclusion, this article brings the first wave of evidence about the effectiveness of child day-care programs for supporting at-risk children from a preservation approach. Practical implications for child welfare services are discussed.

Keywords: Child day-care; Family preservation; Child welfare; Quality of life; Effectiveness; Program evaluation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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