Foster parent perspectives on necessary supports for youth and their families departing foster care

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Summary: More than 50% of children who depart foster care will experience a permanency placement after being involved in the child welfare system. The struggles faced by children and families during the transition into the home and community setting following foster care are well-known and often result in child welfare re-entry. Presently, little is known about preparation for permanency placements or appropriate supports to aide in this critical transition period. This includes understanding the perspectives of key stakeholders such as foster parents, who are essential to the transition. This descriptive study begins to address this need by examining the perspectives of foster parents (N = 60) on: (a) transition planning, (b) the importance of specific supports and services critical during to transition period, and (c) availability of supports during the transition period. Findings: Results indicate that the most frequently addressed areas during transition planning process were family, medical/physical health, and education. Participants rated mental health and safety as the most important supports for youth. Most respondents indicated being unsure about the availability of nearly all supports. However, of those reported as available, safety and mental health supports were identified most often. Application: Findings have practical application for service provision and transition planning for youth and their families departing foster care to permanency placements. Specifically, a continued focus on mental health and an increase in educational supports during the transition process. These are discussed in depth as well as implications for practice. Limitations and future research are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-843
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social Work
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Social work, foster care
  • access to services
  • care planning
  • children and families
  • permanency planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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