Masters Thesis

“I am not just a former foster child, I am a survivor”: former foster youth’s experiences and perceptions on the foster care system

More and more children continue to enter the foster care system daily. With more children entering California state care, we are seeing an increase in adolescents aging out of care and being released into adulthood with minimal resources and skills. Research continues to be conducted in hopes to better understand and aid such a vulnerable population; however, there seems to be a substantial gap in the literature about the experiences of this population. Specifically, very little research has been done concentrating on the experiences faced by foster youth from a personal, first person perspective. Therefore, the research problem addressed in this study is, “What are the experiences and perceptions former foster youth have on the foster care system and is there a relationship between those experiences and the struggles they face post emancipation?” A qualitative phenomenological study will be conducted to explore experiences including achievements and challenges former foster youth who currently reside in Kern County have been faced with throughout their life in and post California state care.

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