Foster Youth and Social Support: The First RCT of Independent Living Services.
Greeson, Johanna K. P. Garcia, Antonio R. Kim, Minseopl. Courtney, Mark E.
Published: May 2015
Research on Social Work Practice
Vol. 25, No. 3 , p. 349-357
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Objective: Conduct secondary data analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of Massachusetts’ Adolescent Outreach Program for Youths in Intensive Foster Care (Outreach) for increasing social support (SS) among enrolled youth.Participants: 194 youth in intensive foster care under the guardianship of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families with a goal of independent living (IL) or long-term substitute care, and born between August 1985 and December 1990 (67% female, 66% White, 27% Hispanic) participated in the study between September 2004 and March 2009.Method: We hypothesized that Outreach compared to services as usual (SAU; control group) would increase participants’ SS and that there would be racial/ethnic disparities in SS as a function of the Outreach. Treatment effects were tested using mixed-effect models.Results: Outreach did not increase foster youth’s SS, compared to SAU. No racial/ethnic disparities in program effect were detected.Discussion and Applications to Social Work: Providers of IL services should reconsider how best to build and strengthen SS among the foster youth they serve. (Author abstract)
foster adolescents; independent living skills; independent living; aging out; outreach