Wednesday, 20 November 2002 - 8:45 AM
Hilton San Francisco Union Square 25 (50)

This presentation is part of COMP-133. Environmental Tobacco Smoke Reduction for Healthy Homes

Help Foster Children: A Framework for Reducing Harm From Secondhand Cigarette Smoke by Foster Parents

Anne E. Watson Bongiorno, BSN MS, Duquesne University/ UVM, Schools of Nursing,

Learning Objectives: Describe the process evaluation of the harm reduction program, from framework to recruitment, training, incentives and delivery methods, and apply lessons learned to programs in your own region.


Research shows that regular exposure to second hand smoke (ETS) is the 3rd leading cause of preventable death, and threatens the health of children. Help Foster Children is a harm reduction and smoking cessation framework that complements community based programs with a specific recruitment and support program for foster parents.

Hundreds of foster children are placed each year with foster parents who are regular, addicted cigarette smokers. Youth exposed to ETS have twice the risk of developing respiratory illnesses and miss more than 6 days of school, annually. They are twice as likely to begin smoking if they see tobacco as acceptable and available.

Foster parentís function in a high stress environment where the difficult task of quitting smoking is compounded by the nature of foster family living. Children are generally placed in state custody as a result of severe neglect or abuse, creating intense needs in the foster family unit.

The harm reduction program is a six- step process using peer support, collaboration with existing programs, a referral and recruitment system, and telephone and web based resources. The presentation will explain program structure, components, and the 2002 process evaluation.

The process evaluation shows many needs. Chief among them are the need for further research in specific harm reduction and smoking cessation support for Foster parents. Lessons learned include the need for evidence based program planning, clarifying needs of state supported youth to funding sources, and the real need for policy interventions with this high risk group of families.

Healthy Living Foster Care confernece.ppt (44.0 kb)

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