National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Transition From Foster Care to Independent Living: Ecological Predictors Associated with Outcomes

Authors: 
Scannapieco, M.,
Smith, M.,
Blakeney-Strong, A.
Year Published: 2016
Type: 
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Volume: 33

Issue: 4
Abstract: 

Given the poor outcomes for youth aging out of foster care, and the small body of literature on what works to improve outcomes, this study was conducted to examine the youth characteristics associated with better outcomes and to explore transitional service program characteristics correlated with outcomes. A causal comparative research design was used, employing preexisting data. The researchers collected records of 329 foster youth from an agency in a large Texas urban/suburban area from the Transition Resource Action Center (TRAC) and Children’s Protective Services databases. To determine outcomes, the researchers used both TRAC’s Self-Sufficiency Matrix and case records. TRAC’s Self-Sufficiency Matrix has five domains: Education, Employment, Employability, Financial Literacy, and Shelter. The researchers examined differences in outcomes between youth who received TRAC services before and after leaving care as well as changes in overall Self-Sufficiency Matrix scores. They also analyzed which variables were predictive of scores on the Self-Sufficiency Matrix. The results of this study indicate that TRAC is having a positive influence on the youth receiving services. Youth showed significant improvement across four of the five identified domains and maintained on the fifth domain of employment. The researchers discuss the implications of these findings for future research, practice, and policy. (author abstract modified)

Availability: 
Full-text article available for download at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10560-015-0426-0