Transitioning out of foster care can be difficult for many former foster youth, and each of their transition experiences is different. Understanding the differences and the difficulties former foster youth have experienced can help in comprehending what future foster youth may experience as they transition out of the foster care system. This qualitative action research study considered those differences and difficulties by asking three questions: (a) What transition challenges do former foster youth experience as they transition out of foster care? (b) How are these challenges different from and similar to the transitions of other former foster youth throughout the United States? (c) What interventions do former foster youth feel are supportive and not supportive in their transitions? Former foster youth are asked a series of open-ended questions to probe deeper into the transitions they experienced. The questions allowed participants to provide a qualitative response based on their transitions and from their own experiences. Some phenomena the former foster youth experienced and those of others interested in the study were captured in a field journal. The field journal and the existing findings of the National Youth in Transition Database were used as the second and third sources of data. These qualitative responses from the open-ended questions, field journal, and the quantitative data collected by the National Youth in Transition Database were then compared and contrasted to create a better understanding of their differences and similarities. The qualitative data are summarized to highlight individual experiences and provide the participants a voice in order to tell their story of transition. The responses and the data revealed that former foster youth struggle to feel supported even when financial and education assistance are available and health insurance and housing are provided. Many of the former foster youth interviewed expressed a deep need for connection through spirituality and permanency to others to feel secure in their transitions. The knowledge gained about the data collected allowed for recommendations to improve social work practices with future foster youth. These recommendations were then given in a data findings presentation at a university in the Rocky Mountain region to stakeholders to facilitate discussions on how to incorporate best practices and spirituality into social work practices with foster youth while in foster care.
|Commitee:||Carter, Kay, Ersing, Robin|
|Department:||School of Nursing and Health Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social work, Spirituality|
|Keywords:||Adolescence, Appreciate Inquiry, Foster Care, Foster Youth, Qualitative Research, Transition|
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