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Foster Awareness: Scholarly Information

Scholarly Articles

Affronti, M., Rittner, B., & Jones, A. M. (2014). Functional adaptation to foster care: Foster care alumni speak out. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 9(1), 1-21. doi:10.1080/15548732.2014.978930

Amechi, M. H. (2016). "There's no autonomy": Narratives of self-authorship from black male foster care alumni in higher education. Journal of African American Males in Education, 7(2), 18-35. 

This qualitative study explores the college pathways and experiences of four Black male foster care alumni. Through in-depth interviews, the author identifies how challenging experiences and adverse environmental conditions in the foster care system shaped their self-defined college goals. This study confirms how dissonant experiences, or developmental crises that challenged students' current ways of knowing and conceptions of self, enhanced self-authorship development and ultimately their success in college. 

Barnow, B. S., Buck, A., O'brien, K., Pecora, P., Ellis, M. L., & Steiner, E. (2015). Effective services for improving education and employment outcomes for children and alumni of foster care service: Correlates and educational and employment outcomes. Child & Family Social Work, 20(2), 159-170. doi:10.1111/cfs.12063

The education and employment outcomes of youth and alumni of foster care served by transition programs located in five major US cities were examined. It was found that the longer the youth were enrolled, the more education and employment outcomes they achieved. Results indicated that certain services provided over an extended period of time can improve outcomes for youth placed in foster care. For youth to achieve positive outcomes as they transition to adulthood, additional services are necessary.

Lynch, S. (2011). Challenging stereotypes of foster children: A study of relational resilience. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 5(1), 23-44. doi:10.1080/15548732.2010.526903

This article challenges stereotypes of troubled foster children by examining their relational resilience despite psychopathological risks. The study examined 150 foster care children for depression, placement stability, and caregiver type, controlling for race/ethnicity and gender, predicted relational resilience in long-term foster care children.

Mccormick, A., Schmidt, K., & Terrazas, S. (2016). LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system: An overview of research, practice, and policy. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 11(1), 27-39. doi:10.1080/15548732.2016.1221368

Salazar, A. M. (2012). Supporting college success in foster care alumni: Salient factors related to postsecondary retention. Child Welfare, 91(5), 139-167.

Villagrana, M. (2016). Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health Service Use for Older Foster Youth and Foster Care Alumni. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. doi:10.1007/s10560-016-0479-8

​Studies have shown that foster care alumni have disproportionally high rates of poor mental health outcomes compared to the general population. Ths study examined differences in mental health service use for Latino, African American, and White youth while in foster care and upon exit from the foster care system. 



Longoria, F. D. (2016). College-going experiences of male foster youth alumni who have stopped-out of college (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

Longitudinal Study

Courtney, M., Dworsky, A., et al. Midwest evaluation of the adult functioning of former foster youth (The Midwest study). Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. 

A longitudinal study that followed a sample of young people from Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois during transition out of foster care into adulthood. Baseline survey data were collected in 2002-03 from 732 study participants when they were 17 or 18 years old;  participants were re-interviewed at ages 19 , 21, 23 or 24, and 26. Reports on each wave of data collections compare this sample of former foster youth to their peers in the general population on domains such as living arrangements, relationships, education, economic issues, and physical and mental well-being.