Article describes protocol for evaluating the implementation of the Integrated Model of Family Foster Care in Portugal

Friday, June 7, 2024 - 12:39

A recent article published in PLOS ONE describes the evaluation protocol for the initial implementation phase of the Integrated Model of Family Foster Care (MIAF) in Portugal. The MIAF is an innovative family foster care model that aims to provide children at risk and in need of care with a more welcoming and stable family environment as an alternative to institutionalisation.

The paper describes the evaluation protocol of the MIAF, which is being implemented in different regions of the country and in national institutions, and is co-authored by Mariana Negrão, a lecturer at the Faculty of Education and Psychology of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa (FEP-UCP) and a researcher at the Faculty's Research Centre for Human Development (CEDH).

This work is part of the All4Children project, which includes a longitudinal study to monitor the implementation of this innovative model with children aged 0-9 in foster care, their foster families and the professionals involved in the project.

The evaluation of the implementation of the model will have two main strands: one focusing on the analysis of the implementation process, i.e. the fidelity, feasibility, suitability and acceptability of the different modules of the MIAF, as well as the identification of facilitators and barriers to its implementation in Portugal; and the other focusing on the evaluation of the outcomes of the model, which will take into account the development, safety and stability of foster children, the well-being of the foster family and the quality of relational care.


Continuous improvement of the MIAF

“This project will contribute to the improvement of the MIAF. It will improve practice and inform policy at a crucial stage of deinstitutionalisation in Portugal,” says Mariana Negrão.

The results of the study will provide valuable data for improving the MIAF and promoting best practice in foster care in Portugal. By providing a more welcoming and stable family environment, it is believed that MIAF can have a significant positive impact on the lives of vulnerable children.

The article The All4Children project to assess the initial implementation of the Integrated Model of Family Foster Care in Portugal: A description of the study protocol is a product of the All4Children project, in which the FEP-UCP participates together with Iscte-IUL, ProChild CoLAB and Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa. 

In addition to Mariana Negrão, the article was signed by Joana Baptista (Iscte-IUL), Helena Grangeia (ProChild CoLAB and JusGOV), Cláudia Camilo (Iscte-IUL), Sandra Ornelas (ProChild CoLAB), Sandra Nogueira (ProChild CoLAB), Isabel Pastor (Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa), Ana Gaspar (Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa), Isabel Soares (Faculty of Psychology, University of Minho) and Stephanie Alves (HEI-Lab).