Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Karen T. Carlson


Social Work


The number of adolescents who are in the social welfare system is growing yearly due to a variety of family circumstances such as inadequate care for the adolescents, physical or mental abuse, and drug use or charges of some type. The purpose of this study was to explore the adjustment differences with adolescents who have been placed in foster care versus group homes. Using the qualitative design, six social work volunteers were interviewed regarding their general knowledge about the struggles of teenagers in foster care or group homes. Data were analyzed using both inductive and deductive approaches in which categories were first developed from the interview responses and then were linked to literature review. The findings indicate that out of foster care and group homes, therapeutic foster care is the most cost effective placement for teens. Group homes were found to have stricter rules and more expensive than foster care placement. In the foster care and group home settings, adolescence had a harder time adjusting to structure/rules. They also had a harder time accepting support by pushing away from the caregivers. With set rules/guidelines, support from foster from foster families or group homes therapist along with staff, made it easier for the adolescence to adjust knowing the rules and boundaries. If these teens did not revive any emotional support from their settings or have hope for a better future, they can end up in multiple placements.

Included in

Social Work Commons