November 2003Vol. 4, No. 9Supporting Successful Transitions for Youth
Youth raised in foster care face greater difficulty achieving common goals, such as completing high school, identifying a career path, and securing reliable transportation and health care. Historically, services addressing these challenges have been offered by independent living programs, which are often under-funded and unable to serve all eligible youth. A new report, Promising Practices: How Foster Parents Can Support the Successful Transition of Youth from Foster Care to Self-Sufficiency, serves as a source of information for foster parents who want to help prepare the youth in their care to live independently.
The report focuses on foster parents who have already had success with adolescents in their homes. These parents offered unique ideas, proven strategies, and real-life examples. The report also clarified factors contributing to the success of foster parents and confirmed that these parents:
- Define boundaries for youth
- Advocate for youth and seek needed services
- Recognize that rewards do not come immediately
- Have an inner confidence and are guided by a belief system
- Have a commitment to children
- Value the family experience and what it can bring to a young person's life
A follow-up to Promising Practices: Supporting the Transition of Youth Served by the Foster Care System (1999), the report was initiated by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine, and the National Resource Center for Youth Services at the University of Oklahoma. View the report on the National Resource Center for Youth Services website at www.nrcys.ou.edu/PDFs/Publications/PPII.pdf.
Read more about the issues of youth transitioning out of foster care in previous issues of Children's Bureau Express:
- "Youth Aging Out of Foster Care Face Uphill Climb to Adulthood" (May 2003)
- "Supporting the Transition to Adulthood of Youth in Foster Care" (May/June 2001)