Better Futures: A Validated Model for Increasing Postsecondary Preparation and Participation of Youth in Foster Care with Mental Health Challenges.
Phillips, Lee Ann. Powers, Laurie E. Geenen, Sarah. Schmidt, Jessica. Winges-Yanez, Nichole. McNeely, Isha Charlie. Merritt, Lindsay. Williamson, Candis.
Children and Youth Services Review
Vol. 57, No. October 20 , p. 50-59
Customer Service Department 6277 Sea Harbor Drive
Orlando, FL 32887-4800
Tel: +1 (877) 839-7126
Fax: +1 (407) 363-1354
Higher education participation rates of young people in foster care are dramatically lower than their level of postsecondary education aspiration. Increasing attention to this disparity has stimulated policy and practice enhancements, however rigorously validated models for promoting postsecondary preparation and participation have not existed for young people in foster care, including those with mental health conditions. This article describes Better Futures, which is the first such model to be experimentally validated as effective for increasing the higher education participation and other related outcomes of young people in foster care with mental health challenges. Better Futures features a four day on-campus Summer Institute, coaching provided to youth by older peers who are in college and have shared experiences around foster care and/or mental health, and workshops that bring together youth, coaches and guest speakers for information sharing and mutual support. This article includes the theoretical and component features of the Better Futures model, findings related to intervention fidelity, participants' evaluation of the program, and discussion of implications for future model refinement and research. (Author abstract)
foster adolescents; mental disorders; POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION; INDEPENDENT LIVING skills; youth engagement; promising practices