Event Title

Program Participation and Experiences in Young Adults Currently or Formerly Receiving Foster Care Services

Presenter Information

Stephanie Montes
Chelle Stokes

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

College

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Major

School of Social Work

Session Number

2

Location

RM 217

Juror Names

Moderator: Dr. Renwu Zhang

Start Date

5-21-2015 3:20 PM

End Date

5-21-2015 3:40 PM

Abstract

This study examines whether participation in Extended Foster Care (EFC) or the Aftercare Program increase perceptions of independence in former and current foster dependents ages eighteen and older. Foster youth have historically experienced worse outcomes than the general population after reaching age 18. This study surveyed 72 young adults, 36 were in Extended Foster Care (EFC) and 36 were in the Aftercare Program in San Bernardino County. The areas examined were demographics, health care, employment, transportation, education, housing, mental health, pregnancy/parenting status, social support, services received in Independent Living Program (ILP), EFC, and/or the Aftercare Program and the young adults’ perception of the helpfulness of the programs, from whom they received information about these services, duration of participation in services, as well as, their confidence in their independence skills. The study found that overall young adults felt prepared for independence and they agreed that EFC or the Aftercare Program contributed to their feelings. The study also found that their outcomes in the aforementioned areas were more positive than previous research indicates. These findings were evaluated through quantitative data analysis of a questionnaire. The significance of this study is that it will determine the programs’ abilities to fit the needs of foster youth in overcoming their obstacles to independence. The implications for social work practice, policy and research is that EFC should be extended until age 24, social workers who have EFC caseloads should enhance their professional expertise in areas relevant to adulthood and they should have reduced caseloads. Lastly, EFC, the Aftercare Program and other programs who offer services to transitional age youth should reexamine young adults’ outcomes when they are age 25 or older.

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May 21st, 3:20 PM May 21st, 3:40 PM

Program Participation and Experiences in Young Adults Currently or Formerly Receiving Foster Care Services

RM 217

This study examines whether participation in Extended Foster Care (EFC) or the Aftercare Program increase perceptions of independence in former and current foster dependents ages eighteen and older. Foster youth have historically experienced worse outcomes than the general population after reaching age 18. This study surveyed 72 young adults, 36 were in Extended Foster Care (EFC) and 36 were in the Aftercare Program in San Bernardino County. The areas examined were demographics, health care, employment, transportation, education, housing, mental health, pregnancy/parenting status, social support, services received in Independent Living Program (ILP), EFC, and/or the Aftercare Program and the young adults’ perception of the helpfulness of the programs, from whom they received information about these services, duration of participation in services, as well as, their confidence in their independence skills. The study found that overall young adults felt prepared for independence and they agreed that EFC or the Aftercare Program contributed to their feelings. The study also found that their outcomes in the aforementioned areas were more positive than previous research indicates. These findings were evaluated through quantitative data analysis of a questionnaire. The significance of this study is that it will determine the programs’ abilities to fit the needs of foster youth in overcoming their obstacles to independence. The implications for social work practice, policy and research is that EFC should be extended until age 24, social workers who have EFC caseloads should enhance their professional expertise in areas relevant to adulthood and they should have reduced caseloads. Lastly, EFC, the Aftercare Program and other programs who offer services to transitional age youth should reexamine young adults’ outcomes when they are age 25 or older.