Over the past thirty years, the story of youth who reach the age of majority during foster placement is a story that has been marked by both striking changes and durable patterns. Dramatic changes to federal policy have significantly increased the opportunities foster youth have for casting and/or re-casting the direction of their lives. Although these opportunities hold great promise for youth who have been typically without a basic level of support, studies of former foster youth making the transition to adulthood have consistently identified barriers to independence at the onset and during the transition to adulthood. The poor functioning demonstrated by these youth before the transition underscores the need for greater understanding of substitute care contexts. Yet, surprisingly little attention has been given to the foster placement experiences leading up to the transition to adulthood or the historical context in which these experiences have occurred. This study presents an optimal matching analysis of patterns in placement movement for a sample of former foster youth who reached the age of majority in one state. The optimal matching revealed five distinct patterns of movement. Multinomial logistic regression was used to predict factors associated with each of the patterns. Implications for child welfare policy and practice are discussed.
|Commitee:||Abbott, Andrew, Courtney, Mark, Henly, Julie|
|School:||The University of Chicago|
|Department:||Social Service Administration|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Aging out, Aging out youth, Child welfare policy, Foster youth, Illinois DCFS, Movement, Placement instability, Trajectories, Transition to adulthood|
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