Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Lim, Caroline


Background: There is a need for an enhanced understanding of factors contributing to foster youths’ decision to leave the foster care system prematurely and not participate in the Extended Foster Care (EFC) program given California has the largest population of non-minor dependents in care and a very small percent of transitioning foster youth participating in the EFC program. Purpose: This study examined the factors that impact a youth’s decision to participate in EFC and strived to answer the following question: Is there an association between the social worker-client relationship and a foster youth’s knowledge of EFC? Methods: This quantitative study use an observational Cross-sectional design to gather data from foster youth. The method of sampling used was non-probability with convenience, purposive, and snowball type. Participant’s demographic characteristics were gathered along with data on the participants bond and collaboration on goals and tasks with their assigned social worker. Descriptive statistics were generated for the sample. In addition two independent sample t-test were conducted to determine whether level of bond and collaboration with the assigned worker varied between participants with and without knowledge of EFC. Results: Ten participants who are currently or were formally youth under the supervision of a County Child Welfare agency were recruited. These were mostly individuals in their mid-20s and mostly female. Findings revealed that 100% of participants have knowledge of the EFC. Among these participants 40% had considered or applied to the EFC program. The difference, however, was not statistically significant. The level of collaboration with their assigned social worker did not differentiate between those with and without the knowledge of EFC. Conclusion: The findings presented in this study likely provide important insights for County Child Welfare agencies as it relates to the importance of youth receiving the knowledge to be fully informed of their rights to the EFC program.

Included in

Social Work Commons