Will I Make It On My Own? Voices and Visions of 17-Year-Old Youth in Transition

by Monique B. Mitchell; Sarah Renema; Toni Jones

Dec 14, 2014

Voices and Visions of Youth in Transition, a longitudinal transformative youth-centered research study, examines the experiences and thoughts of youth as they transition out of foster care at the ages of 17, 19, and 21. Qualitative and quantitative survey inquiries were used to attain an understanding of the experiences of 198 youth in foster care who were 17 years old during the first wave of data collection. Nine critical areas related to the transition out of foster care were examined: education; employment; housing; high-risk behavior; access to health insurance; social connections with adults, family, and friends; the transition plan; transition concerns; and personal goals. The majority of youth reported the importance of resources, social support, and personal habits and skills as they prepare for the transition out of foster care. Youth also expressed concerns about being on their own without adequate support and not being able to make it on their own. This article highlights the study's findings from the first wave of data collection and how youth in transition are meaningfully engaged and empowered throughout the research process.

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