Former Foster System Youth: Perspectives on Transitional Supports and Programs

Amy Armstrong-Heimsoth, Molly Hahn-Floyd, Heather J. Williamson, Jonathan M. Kurka, Wonsuk Yoo, Sue A. Rodríguez De Jesús

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Youth aging out of the foster care system have well-documented challenges when transitioning to adulthood. Multiple transition services provide support in the transition process; however, limited research is available regarding youth’s perceptions of programming. In this pilot study, sixteen youth between ages 18 and 20 participated in semi-structured interviews, support mapping, and resiliency measurements to gather the experiences of the transition from foster care. Comparisons between those who chose initial transition supports and those who did not receive or delayed receiving transition supports were initially explored. Common themes emerged in participants’ needs and perceived resiliency regardless of transition support services. All youth reported relationship, trust, and concern for well-being as highly important characteristics in transition team members. A need for earlier transition programming, decision-making opportunities, and life skills courses were important themes in transition programming needs. Implications for policy, research, and practice are presented based upon findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-305
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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