Chief Program Officer, Carol Ripple, and members of our Good Night Advisory Council — Candice Alfano (lead researcher), Eleanor L. McGlinchey, and Amy R. Wolfson — were part of a team that recently published a study in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics on the lack of information and support to help foster parents address sleep health challenges among the children in their care.
Based on survey data from 485 foster caregivers, only 13% of respondents reported receiving information/education about sleep from foster care agencies, and more than half were advised to use melatonin or a prescription sleep aid by their health provider. Parents recognized that a bedtime routine, reassurance of safety and love, and a caring environment were most important for helping their child sleep well.
While more research is needed, this study demonstrates the importance of providing practical, actionable sleep health education for foster care workers and parents.
Together with our research team and with support from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Pajama Program is working toward developing sleep health education for foster care workers.