Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Chang, Janet


This study examined former foster youth’s perceptions of the skills and services they received while they were in the foster care system. More specifically the efficacy of these services, and what services and skills they believed would have been helpful to assist them in their transition into independent living. A qualitative design was used, and semi-structured face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted with ten former foster youth who aged out of foster care at age eighteen through twenty-one. Two males and eight females from diverse backgrounds participated in this study. Participants were recruited through availability and snowball sampling at community agencies, college campuses, and the community.

This study found that participants experienced a difficult time transitioning from foster care to independent living, felt unprepared after leaving foster care, needing additional services, and expressed wanting to have received more in depth financial management skills. This study recommends providing additional independent living skills, social support, and participation in the Independent Living Program as part of foster youth’s case plan when preparing to transition out of foster care into independent living.

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Social Work Commons