The Care Placements Evaluation (CaPE) Evaluation of Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care for Adolescents (MTFC-A)

Nina Biehal, Jo Dixon, E Parry, Ian Sinclair, J. Green, C. Roberts, C Kay, J. Rothwell, D. Kapadia, A. Roby

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC) is a wrap-around multi-modal intervention for children and young people with challenging behaviour. It was initially developed and tested by the Oregon Social Learning Centre (OSLC) in the USA as an alternative to institutional placement. The British government introduced it in England in 2002 as a national pilot programme prompted by concerns about poor outcomes for many looked after children and about the placement instability often experienced by these children.

This report presents the findings of only the second independent evaluation of MTFC, and the first to evaluate its use with older looked after children and adolescents.

The study used both quantitative and qualitative methods to assess outcomes for the children, who were assessed one year after they entered their MTFC placement or, for most of those in the control group, one year after entry to a new alternative placement in residential or foster care. The primary outcome of interest was general adaptive functioning, but a number of secondary outcomes were also assessed, including behaviour, mental health, placement at follow-up and participation in education.

This study has two components: a small randomised controlled trial embedded within a larger quasi-experimental observational study.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherDepartment for Education
Commissioning bodyDepartment of Education
Number of pages247
ISBN (Print)978-1-78105-104-7
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameResearch Report
PublisherDepartment for Education


  • looked after children
  • looked after young people
  • Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care
  • foster care
  • residential care
  • adolescents
  • intervention
  • challenging behaviour

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