Systemic Components of Care that Affect Self-Sufficiency for Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care.
Strong-Blakeney, Amy M.
ix, 81 p.
Published: December 2013
This dissertation reports the findings of a study that examined the systemic components of foster care that either promote or inhibit self-sufficiency in foster youth once they transition from care through the lens of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory. Using data gathered from both Child Protective Services and Transitional Resource Action Center’s (TRAC) databases, the study explored factors of care that most influence former foster youth’s self-sufficiency, including number of caseworkers, number of placements, length of time in foster care, and level of restriction in placements while in care and how they either inhibit or promote self-sufficiency. Five domains of self-sufficiency were evaluated: education, employability, employment, financial literacy, and shelter. Results indicated that none of the factors of care fully explained youth’s self-sufficiency. Only two of the predictor variables, number of placements and level of care, when analyzed independently, predicted higher self-sufficiency scores. When all four predictor variables, number of workers, number of placements, time in care, and level of care, were included in the final regression model, none were statistically significant; however, three of the four variables, number of caseworkers, number of placements, and level of care approached significance. The final regression model indicated that only 26.9% of the variance was explained by the predictor variables when controlling for personal characteristics. Findings are discussed in relation to both ecological and developmental theory, and practice implications are explored. 15 tables and numerous references.
foster adolescents; aging out; independent living skills; independent living; predictor variables; ECONOMIC SELF SUFFICIENCY; SYSTEMIC FACTORS; ECOLOGICAL FACTORS; employment