Is Anybody Out There? Informal Supports Accessed and Sought by Youth from Foster Care.
Rutman, Deborah. Hubberstey, Carol.
Published: April 2016
Children and Youth Services Review
Vol. 63 , p. 21-27
Customer Service Department 6277 Sea Harbor Drive
Orlando, FL 32887-4800
Tel: +1 (877) 839-7126
Fax: +1 (407) 363-1354
Young people's ‘ageing out’ of foster care has been described as stark and abrupt, in sharp contrast with the gradual process of transitioning to adulthood experienced by parented youth in the general population. Research has demonstrated that being supported during this transition is associated with a variety of health, social, and educational outcomes. The purpose of this article is to report former foster youths' perspectives on their informal supports, what difference these supports made for them, and what they believed would be useful in their transition to adulthood. Data came from semi-structured interviews with 43 former foster youth aged 19–26. Findings revealed that while approximately half the informants reported having support from family, most did not have family whom they regularly relied upon for emotional, practical and/or financial support. Further, while nearly all youths indicated that having support made a difference to them, many also noted that for daily living, they were on their own. The study's findings are an important reminder of the gulf existing between youth from care and parented youth in terms of their access to support during their journey to adulthood. (Author abstract)
foster adolescents; aging out; foster care alumni; independent living skills; independent living; COMMUNITY RESOURCES; Family support systems; childs attitudes