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Why Youth Leave Care

Title: Why Youth Leave Care: Understandings of Adulthood and Transition Successes and Challenge Among Youth Aging Out of Child Welfare.
Name(s): Goodkind, Sarah, author
Schelbe, Lisa, author
Shook, Jeffrey J., author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: serial
Date Issued: 2011
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Child welfare policies and practices are changing to allow more youth to remain in care beyond age 18. Yet, the majority of youth do not stay. Given recent evidence suggesting that remaining in care may be beneficial, there is a need to understand why youth leave. Using data gathered from in-depth interviews with young people aging out of care, this paper explores this question, relating it to youths' understandings of adulthood and the successes and challenges they face during their transitions. We find that youth leave care because of misunderstanding and misinformation about the requirements for remaining in care, as well as because of a desire for autonomy and independence. Specifically, many youth equated adulthood with independence, and thus felt that they needed to leave care to achieve adulthood. Unfortunately, these efforts to be independent often hinder youths' development of supportive relationships, which they reported to be one of the greatest challenges in their transitions. Based on these findings, we conclude by challenging the conflation of adulthood and independence, as well as of childhood and dependence, calling for connected autonomy as a goal for child welfare involved young people of all ages.
Identifier: FSU_migr_csw_faculty_publications-0002 (IID), 10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.01.010 (DOI)
Keywords: child welfare, aging out, emerging adulthood, independence, interdependence
Note: NOTICE: this is the author's version of a work that was accepted for publication in Children and Youth Services Review. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Children and Youth Services 33, 6, (2011) DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.01.010
Citation: Goodkind, S., Schelbe, L. A., & Shook, J. J. (2011). Why youth leave care: Understandings of adulthood and transition successes and challenges among youth aging out of child welfare. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1039-1048.
Subject(s): Social sciences
Social service
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part of Series: College of Social Work Faculty Publications.
Is Part Of: Children and Youth Services Review.
Issue: 6, 33

Choose the citation style.
Goodkind, S., Schelbe, L., & Shook, J. J. (2011). Why Youth Leave Care: Understandings of Adulthood and Transition Successes and Challenge Among Youth Aging Out of Child Welfare. Children And Youth Services Review. Retrieved from