Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Rosemary MCcaslin



This is a comprehensive study of youth in the foster care system. It examines perceptual experiences of the youth before, during, and after transitioning to independent living. Additionally, it delineates their exposure to employment, education, mentors, and counseling programs. Furthermore, it renders social work practitioners with insight on the tensions and challenges transitioning youth face before and after conversion, as well as available programs to assist the youth throughout the transitioning phase – specifically, programs that:

  • Pursue educational and vocational opportunities;
  • Build supportive relationships and connections;
  • Assist with finding and maintaining employment;
  • Teach money management skills;
  • Assist with securing housing;
  • Help maintain health and wellness; and,
  • Develop additional life skills.

This study highlights the future of transitioning youth and the types of assistance needed to help them age‑out of foster care gracefully and live productive lives. The factors herein are not only critical, but meticulously evaluated and considered top priority during the collection of data for purposes of this research.