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Behavioural Intervention

SYNC Program for Psychosocial Functioning in Foster Youth

Led By Jennifer Blakeslee, PhD,MSW,BS
Research Sponsored by Portland State University
Eligibility Criteria Checklist
Specific guidelines that determine who can or cannot participate in a clinical trial
Must have
Be younger than 65 years old
Screening 3 weeks
Treatment Varies
Follow Up immediately after program completion, 6 months after program completion
Awards & highlights


This trial will deploy a program to improve mental health & service use of foster youth before & after exiting care. It aims to increase coping self-efficacy & help-seeking attitudes, & test if the program is effective in improving mental health & service use.

Who is the study for?
This trial is for foster youth in Oregon, aged 16-20, who have been in care for at least 90 days post-age 14 and show signs of behavioral health risks. It's not open to those who can't actively participate due to language barriers, significant developmental disabilities, or crisis situations.Check my eligibility
What is being tested?
The SYNC program is being tested to see if it helps foster youth manage stress better by improving their emotional regulation and coping strategies. The study will also look at whether the program encourages seeking help as a way to cope with mental health issues.See study design
What are the potential side effects?
Since this intervention focuses on group therapy and skill development rather than medication or medical procedures, traditional physical side effects are not expected. However, discussing sensitive topics may cause temporary emotional discomfort.


Screening ~ 3 weeks
Treatment ~ Varies
Follow Up ~immediately after program completion, 6 months after program completion
This trial's timeline: 3 weeks for screening, Varies for treatment, and immediately after program completion, 6 months after program completion for reporting.

Treatment Details

Study Objectives

Outcome measures can provide a clearer picture of what you can expect from a treatment.
Primary outcome measures
Cognitive control and coping flexibility
Help-seeking intentions
Secondary outcome measures
Barriers to seeking help
Coping self-efficacy
Self-efficacy and empowerment specific to mental health
Other outcome measures
Depression and anxiety
Domains for psychiatric diagnoses
Mental health service use
+1 more

Trial Design

2Treatment groups
Experimental Treatment
Active Control
Group I: InterventionExperimental Treatment1 Intervention
The Intervention group receives the SYNC intervention in addition to typical child welfare services (i.e., services as usual). The SYNC intervention includes 10 weekly remote (videoconference) 90-minute sessions delivered by a facilitator and a near-peer young adult aged 20-26, both with lived experience in child welfare.
Group II: Services-as-usualActive Control1 Intervention
The Services-as-usual (SAU) group receives typical child welfare services, which include ILP, or federally funded transition planning (e.g., identifying and supporting youth education and employment goals) and life skills (e.g., budgeting, renting an apartment, insurance) services typically delivered through a mix of classes, group activities, and/or individual skill-building with a paraprofessional service provider.

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Who is running the clinical trial?

Portland State UniversityLead Sponsor
22 Previous Clinical Trials
26,841 Total Patients Enrolled
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)NIH
2,820 Previous Clinical Trials
2,692,723 Total Patients Enrolled
84 Trials studying Anxiety
40,077 Patients Enrolled for Anxiety
Jennifer Blakeslee, PhD,MSW,BSPrincipal InvestigatorPortland State University
~64 spots leftby Mar 2026