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PC-CARE Programs


Using a Brief Parenting Intervention to Improve Young Foster Children’s Adjustment to New Homes: A public system-community mental health collaboration. This poster was displayed at the 2019 California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth Annual Conference.

SAMHSA: Bringing PC-CARE to Resource Homes

In 2016, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funded the UC Davis CAARE Center to provide mental health services to all 1-5 year old children who enter the foster resource care system in Sacramento County within 90 days of their placement.

Under this grant, we partnered with Sacramento County Child Protective Services (CPS) and developed a protocol to utilize our parent-child intervention, PC-CARE, with resource caregivers.* Our goals were placement stability, child behavioral improvement, and stress reduction for children and caregivers, while providing trauma-informed services to resource children and their caregivers.


  • For every child newly placed into the resource home system in Sacramento County, Sacramento CPS notifies the UC Davis CAARE Center
  • The UC Davis CAARE Center contacts the resource caregiver(s) for the newly placed child and offers PC-CARE services
  • If resource caregiver agrees, a PC-CARE therapist coordinates sessions with the caregiver and child for a 7 week period. The PC-CARE therapist visits the caregiver and child in the home, so as to reduce the stress of rushing to appointments and the busy schedules that accompany childcare and resource parenting.
  • During the 7-week intervention, resource caregivers are provided with support, trauma-informed skill sets and strategies, activities, and handouts to help resource children adjust to new placements and any traumatic experiences they have had.


  • To be eligible, resource children must be within the ages of 1 and 5, and must have been placed in the foster home within the past 90 days of the referral.
  • Multiple caregivers can and do participate in treatment at the same time.
  • Siblings in the same home are common, and are eligible for PC-CARE. They often receive concurrent services with the same caregiver.
  • Referrals of children who have previously taken part in PC-CARE services with another caregiver is not uncommon; As every parent-child dyad is unique, it is a repeatable intervention.
  • As every parent-child dyad is unique and can benefit from PC-CARE, some resource caregivers have completed the PC-CARE intervention multiple times with different resource children.
*Resource home, resource parent, resource child:  Previously referred to as foster home, foster parent, foster child

Since the inception of this grant, nearly two-hundred newly placed resource children have been connected to PC-CARE services, with over 100 children having completed or are currently completing PC-CARE with their resource caregivers.

Client retention at 74%: Excluding children still in treatment, reunified children, and children changing placements, the retention rate for all resource parents agreeing to participate in treatment was 73.7%.

Drop in trauma symptoms: Analyses showed a statistically significant drop (F(1,62)=7.01, p=.01) in the severity of trauma symptoms during the reporting period from an average of 3.81 to an average of 3.05 symptoms.

Drop in child behavior problems: The figure below shows the session-by-session means for the children included in an analysis of the significance of change. Results showed a significant decrease in the intensity of behavior problems from Pre-treatment to Session 6 (F(5, 17)=5.64, η2= .21, observed power= .62).

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A Partner in NCTSN - The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

The UC Davis CAARE Center is funded by the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (SM63268). The views and opinions of authors expressed in this (document, product, web site) do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).