Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Stories from adults who grew up in the foster care system and what they tell us about its impact on their school completion in an urban school setting
by Rios-Zambrano, Jennifer Madeline, Ed.D., California State University, Los Angeles, 2014, 189; 3644311
Abstract (Summary)

This narrative study examines the impact the foster care system had on the high school completion of adult former foster youth in an urban school setting. In particular, the study explores the experiences and reflections from their perspectives on the systems (school, child welfare agency, and legal) that raised them. The participants reflected and shared their personal experiences to provide detailed and accurate accounts of being a student while in the child welfare system. Through interviews and document analysis, a story surfaces that demonstrates collective narratives about the reality of the challenges, obstacles, and determination behind each participant's journey to get through both the public school and the child welfare systems to become the adults they are.

Five major themes (Impact of Instability and Permanency within Placements and Schools, Lack of Trust and Reliability within Systems, Perceptions and Expectations, Collaboration and Accountability within Systems and Policies, and Self-Reflection on Survival as a Student in Foster Care, Attachment or Resilience) emerged from the participants' stories that led to whether they were able to complete their secondary schooling. Attachment and resilience theories were used as a guide for participants' self-reflections about their survival in foster care and assisted in linking to existing literature associated with this subgroup of students.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ulanoff, Sharon H.
Commitee: Andre-Bechely, Lois, Hafner, Anne, Weinberg, Lois
School: California State University, Los Angeles
Department: Applied and Advanced Studies in Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Social work, Secondary education, Public policy
Keywords: Attachment theory, Collaboration, Education, Foster youth, High school completion, Resilience theory
Publication Number: 3644311
ISBN: 978-1-321-32434-1
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