From Foster Care to Adulthood: The Role of Income.
Peters, Clark M. Sherraden, Margaret. Marie Kuchinski, Ann.
Published: January-March 2016
Journal of Public Child Welfare
Vol. 10, No. 1 , p. 39-58
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This study explores the role of income for young people with experience in foster care transitioning to adulthood. It draws on in-depth structured interviews with eight staff members and 38 current and former foster youths age 18 years and older, who were participants in an innovative program to build their assets and financial capability. Interviews took place in four sites in three states. This study illuminates how those with experience in foster care seek to obtain and manage money to transition successfully to adult financial roles. Findings suggest that early and practical experiences with money are important for gaining financial capability. The study also highlights the need for child welfare professionals to develop expertise in financial literacy and understand the pitfalls that lie in both traditional and nontraditional financial services. By deepening understanding among staff of the economic realities facing the young people today, child welfare agencies will be more likely to prepare former foster youths for life on their own. (Author abstract)
foster adolescents; aging out; independent living skills; financial assistance; budgeting