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Social workers’ perspectives: The issues foster care youth face in transition to adulthood
The purpose of this study is to determine what major factors prevent youth transitioning out of the Texas foster care system from using the services provided to help them attend college. I want to gather this information from the adults who work very closely with foster youth on an individual basis, social workers. This topic became of great interest to me because of an astonishing fact I stumbled upon while doing personal research on becoming a foster family. “While 70% of foster youth say they want to attend college, only 3% receive a college degree” (Miller, 2009). This fact made me question what is being done to prepare these youth for adulthood. Foster youth receive tuition vouchers for state funded and run universities, they are also eligible for additional financial assistance while they are attending school. With such a high percentage wanting to go to school and such a low percentage actually obtaining their goal, the transition services should be thoroughly examined to ensure youths are being adequately prepared and supported for adulthood. The potential impact on society is having young adults who are not capable of taking care of themselves and a potential increase in the homeless population.
Many studies have been performed on the child welfare system and its effectiveness. Mental health, juvenile court system, graduation rates, and transition services are some of the topics that have been covered by numerous researchers. Youths in transition to adulthood and independent living is an issue that reveals how effective or ineffective the child welfare system truly is. How well are they preparing these youths to be productive members of our society? The focus of this literature review will be transition services and the adults that guide foster youth into adulthood.
The transition services that are provided to youths in the child welfare system are evolving over time with help from the government. Congress passed the individual living initiative in 1986, which required states to develop transition services to help prepare youth for adulthood (Jones, 2011). The Chaffee Act has also been put into place, it gives “the child welfare system the opportunity to...