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August 2012Vol. 13, No. 7Promoting Resilience Among Youth in Care

An issue brief from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative addresses resilience and provides a framework for helping youth in care develop resilience. Children and youth in foster care face many challenges that place them at greater risk of experiencing negative outcomes in adult life. However, research shows that youth with adequate support systems can and do develop resilience that enables them to cope with and adapt to these hardships.

According to the brief, protective factors—specific conditions or attributes that span a wide range of areas, including childhood, family, school, and community—may decrease challenges and encourage young people to recover, and even thrive, in the face of adversity. Accordingly, increasing these protective factors in youth can positively affect the development of resilience. The monograph provides seven core principles that support the process of developing resilience for youth in care.

  • Optimism
  • Strengths-based
  • Broad context
  • Exposure level
  • Individual experiences
  • Group experiences
  • Ongoing support

The report also includes input from youth with foster care experience and a list of references and related publications.

Promoting Development of Resilience Among Young People in Foster Care is available on the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative website: