Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Carolyn McAllister



This is a qualitative study that was conducted in conjunction with San Bernardino County to explore the experiences of you adults in Extended Foster Care. Extended Foster Care is an extension of foster care services offered from age 18 to 21 as a result of the passing of Assembly Bill 12. This study focuses specifically on the experiences of young adults deemed “successful” based upon their enrollment in school, work status, and overall plans for their future. The data was collected through telephone and face-to-face interviews with young adults currently involved with Extended Foster Care in San Bernardino County.

The findings of this study indicated that successful young adults tend to demonstrate some level of resiliency and have an overall positive outlook, are self-motivated, have better relationships with their social workers, an overall good understanding of the program and services offered, stable supports, and all participants became involved in EFC immediately following regular foster care. Young adults also expressed a desire for more assistance in gaining work experience. The strengths of this study include the use of open ended questions and triangulation of analyzing data. Limitations of this study include participant self-selection bias and the briefness of the interview that may have not allowed for sufficient time for young adults to reflect intensely on their experiences.

Recommendations for future social work policy, practice, and research based on the findings of this study include extending foster care services beyond age twenty-one, the importance of social workers roles in young adult clients’ lives, and the need for continued, more intensive research.

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Social Work Commons