Thesis

Understanding services provided to foster youth and the impacts on permanent connection

With the increasing research in the outcome of foster youth aging out of foster care, it has become clear that they may need more support in the areas of social support and lifelong emotional connections from individuals they identified as being important. Still, the research on the phenomenon of young adults who aged out of the foster care system or of young adults who are still in care developing permanent connection and support are limited. This study is aimed at understanding the experience and perception of former foster youth on their understanding of the services they received and how it impacted them in developing a permanent connection. A sample of five former foster youth in Fresno and Sacramento County were recruited. The design utilized in this study was ecological, using a narrative approach. Three major themes emerged from the research, a) lack of relationship with social workers; b) lack of participation in transitional services; and c) lack of permanent connection. One central theme that emerged as a result of the participants� responses was �support.� The results of this study concluded that, although transitional services were available for the foster youth the relationship between the foster youth and their social workers was an important factor in their utilizing services/building connection. Another factor in the foster youth�s decision making process to participate in transitional services is not having an understanding about the services being offered.

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