Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Herbert Shon


Currently, there are thousands of foster youth in the child welfare system. When they reach the age of 18, some of these youth emancipate from the system, while some of them participate in extended foster care. The extended foster care system was implemented to support and provide services to young adults passed the age of 18, to provide them a couple more years to obtain stability in their lives. In order to participate in extended foster care, they have to meet a few requirements, and sometimes this is the minimum level of commitment and effort they contribute. These requirements include: school enrollment, employment working at least 80 hours per month, enrollment in a program for employment readiness or a documented medical condition that hinders the youth from any of the above. These young adults in extended foster care do not always have positive experiences and positive results. This study was conducted to explore this topic.

This was an explorative study which conducted a qualitative analysis of interviews of young adults in extended foster care. These interviews were analyzed by using the Constant Comparative Analysis approach. The results provided a glimpse into the experiences of these young adults. Overall, their experiences are positive, but there is a need expressed by these youth, that more services and support would be helpful and in turn could produce more successful results for the extended foster care program, as a whole. Future research can build upon this study, by using a larger sample size, using a mixed methodology, and using a consistent interview method, to explore areas of concern in order to be able to generalize the results to all youth and extended foster care programs across the state of California.

Included in

Social Work Commons