To Dream the Impossible Dream: Care Leavers' Challenges and Barriers in Pursuing Their Future Expectations and Goals.
Published: October 2017
Children and Youth Services Review
Vol. 81 , p. 332-339
3251 Riverport Lane
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
Emerging adulthood is considered to be a period of many possibilities, expectations and aspirations for the future (Arnett, 2007). However, vulnerable young adults have fewer personal and social assets, which might limit their possibilities and goals. This exploratory study aims to investigate the challenges and barriers of 25 Israeli young adults who left care, while trying to realize their expectations and pursue their future plans. Thematic analysis revealed that these young peoples' perceptions of their future and their goal-setting are challenged mainly by their weak and unsupportive social ties, obligations to their biological parents, and poor personal capital. All of these challenges combined comprise a barrier to pursuing their future aspirations. The discussion addresses the connection between the challenges care leavers struggle with in their transition to independent living, their future outlook, and chosen paths in the context of emerging adulthood theory. Implications for practice suggest the importance of creating supportive follow up frameworks that allow care leavers to strengthen their social ties, build new positive and supportive relationships, and consult about future decisions, in order to increase their future possibilities and opportunities. (Author abstract)
barriers; Israel; foster adolescents; aging out; independent living; independent living skills; interpersonal relationships; birth parents; child welfare services