Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Smith, Laurie Ph.D


This study used ten interviews with Extended Foster Care (EFC) workers about their experiences with EFC youth from a county agency before, during, and after COVID-19 pandemic using a qualitative research design. The purpose of the research was to learn from EFC social workers how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their ability to provide services to the EFC youth, negatively or positively, and how supported they felt in delivering these services. Data was collected by interviewing the ten participants via Zoom. Data was analyzed by categorizing the responses with different colors based on the responses. Significant findings were identified regarding agency policies on contacts with EFC youth prior to and during COVID-19, effectiveness of COVID-19 policy on worker safety, COVID-19 restrictions impact social services, and challenges of working with EFC youth during COVID-19 restrictions. Also, challenges in delivering mental health services and in building rapport with EFC youth during COVID-19 restrictions and obtaining employment and exceptions during COVID-19 restrictions were identified. Recommendations include strengthening the communication strategies to ensure effective communication with EFC youth and social workers which can involve utilizing multiple communication channels and having the social workers provide regular updates and guidance to the new youth since they might need additional support to establish rapport to allow them to connect with the social worker.

Included in

Social Work Commons