Developing Strategies for Positive Change: Transitioning Foster Youth to Adulthood.
Graham, Kara E. Schellinger, Annie R. Vaughn, Lisa M.
Children and Youth Services Review
Vol. 54, No. July 2015 , p. 71-79
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Foster youth encounter numerous challenges before reaching adulthood, with lingering impacts in many aspects of their lives once they leave state care: academic, employment, financial, housing, mental health, parenting, and social. In Hamilton County, Ohio, emancipating youth encounter similar struggles, limiting academic success for some participants in the Higher Education Mentoring Initiative (HEMI). This study utilized a Group-Level Assessment (GLA), an action-based, participatory research process, to generate information from various foster care system stakeholders, including foster youth, about the specific barriers and contextual factors that impact transitioning foster youth locally. Five themes emerged from the GLA process along with two, critical capacities necessary for successful outcomes: individual support and personal development. Post-research local action group community endeavors and implications to help transitioning youth experience more positive outcomes are discussed. (Author abstract)
foster adolescents; independent living; independent living skills; aging out; barriers; outcomes; interpersonal relationships