From Foster Care to Adulthood: Where Do We Go from Here?
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Former foster youth becoming parents face many unfortunate events starting with the difficult transition from foster care. Currently, there is not any research which discusses successful transitions from foster care to parenting. This is a qualitative study that included interviews of five former foster youth’s experiences as parents. The study sought to answer the question, how do social service and supports for parents who have experienced the foster care system affect their child’s development? The researcher determined several common themes which include reasons for entering foster care, the foster care experience, resources and support, parenting models/styles, development of child, and unavailable resources. Results suggest that social services and support utilized by the participants decreased the chance of these participants’ children entering the foster care system, but aided tremendously in the children’s development. Although funding and support are available, they do not prepare former foster youth for the rigorous job of actually raising a child and do not provide a parental model. Improvements are suggested in program development and resources, as well as more research in this specific area.