Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

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


Social Work

First Advisor

Mari Ann Graham


Social Work


The purpose of this study was to explore and describe ways foster care caseworkers help foster youth transition to adulthood successfully. Data was collected using qualitative interviews, with four professionals who have experience with foster youth aging out of the foster care system. A number of themes emerged from this data, including: the need to start harm reduction services early, the importance of services in general, the need for permanent connections, and the importance of relationships between foster youth and social workers. Findings suggest a lack of support for foster youth aging out of the system, and that the support they have is often paid support. Implications suggest that foster youth need longer lasting support as they continue into adulthood, and that they need more services tailored to their particular needs. Implications for social work practice, policy and future research are also identified.

Included in

Social Work Commons