Supporting Foster Youth Transitioning into Adulthood: A Literature Review

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Henshaw, Kelly
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"We were founded on the idea that everybody should have equal opportunity to succeed...Where you start should not determine where you end up" -- President Barack Obama. Each year thousands of children and youth come into the care of British Columbia's Ministry of Children and Family Development. For various reasons, these individuals are unable to live with their birth families and are moved to foster or group homes for an indeterminate amount of time. These individuals are at risk, as they begin their journey through the care of the ministry without the consistency and support which is afforded to their peers by their families. As these youth enter their teenage years and beyond they begin their transition into adulthood with little preparation and lack of support. As a result many youth struggle through this period of their lives by needing to drop out of school in order to financially support themselves, experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation, and homelessness. This capstone explores how practitioners can bridge this gap in supporting foster youth in care in making the successful transition into adulthood. By maintaining supportive relationships, encouraging high school and post secondary education, as well as supporting youth in finding affordable housing, it is my hope that more youth will have success as they enter into adulthood. Using the framework of The Life Skills Tool Kit, foster youth will have immediate access to their personal and educational records, as well as essential life skill information, in the hopes that they stop falling through societies cracks.
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