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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Project: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Janet Chang


A majority of individuals who were placed in group homes were removed from foster care or released from a juvenile detention center due to some behavioral and mental health issues. Individuals who reside in group homes typically have some type of mental health challenges that may impair their capacity to live independently. The focal point of this study was to acquire insight into the psychological implications and experiences of individuals who were placed in a group home. This study used a qualitative design with in-depth face-to-face interviews. Data was collected from 10 individuals who were placed in group homes as adolescents. Qualitative data analysis was conducted using an open coding process and major categories were identified.

This study found that a great majority of the participants reported negative group home experiences. The study also found that most participants who were placed in group homes had been struggling with trust, abandonment, attachment, and mental health issues. However, the study revealed that a majority of the participants currently led positive and productive lives. It is recommended that social workers working with the group home population identify the previous trauma experienced by these individuals and so they can better understand the behaviors and challenges of an individual residing in a group home. This study also recommends that mental health clinicians, child welfare agencies, and group homes can take the initiative to better understand the previous trauma, behaviors, and experiences of group home clients.