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May 3, 2010

What Do Romanian Children Living in Orphanages Manifesting Repetitive Behaviors and American Children in Foster Care With Abnormal Cortisol Levels Have in Common?More Than You Would Think

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: PolicyLab, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(5):492-493. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.66

Asked to pen an editorial about the child welfare articles in this month's Archives, our challenge was to link the policy and practice implications between 2 articles that could not appear more different at first glance. The first article,1 by Bos and colleagues, reports the results of a clinical trial from Romania that compares children who were raised in institutional care with those who were randomized to family foster care, finding a significant reduction in the “stereotypies” often seen in other pervasive developmental disorders for the children placed in family foster care. The second article,2 by Bernard and colleagues, reports significant perturbations in daily cortisol levels among a Delaware cohort of children who remained in home with their birth parents following the involvement of Child Protective Services compared with children placed into family foster care.

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