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Research Proposal

Factors affecting Foster Care Youth's Self-Sufficiency

Lillian DeBose

on 2 December 2012

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Transcript of Research Proposal

Foster Care and Self Sufficiency The Research: The Impact: Limitations Implications Potential Funders Data Analysis Ethical Concerns Methods Theory Aging out of the System Literature Review Statistics The Problem: Foster care youth age out of the system when they turn 18, and are now responsible for their own well being. They must find their own homes, jobs, and health insurance. They face the challenges of adulthood alone and without the support systems that most young adults have. In many cases, foster care youth end up homeless and unemployed and must rely on public assistance such as TANF and SNAP in order to support themselves. It is the job of the state to prepare these youth for adulthood, but as demonstrated by the following statistics, they are not successful. 12-30% of foster care youth will face homelessness.
37-60% will get their high school diploma.
An average of 25-20% are unemployed and out of those who are employed, 90% will make less than $10,000 a year.
30-62% are unable to get health care. Much of the existing literature focuses on two aspects of foster care youth. They either try to identify trends, or test the effectiveness of Independent Living Programs. Mason developed an interview to be used to determine effectiveness by identifying factors such as employment, homelessness, and placement stability. The studies on Independent Living Programs attempt to identify aspects of the programs that have the most impact on a youth's success.
None of these studies investigate what individual factors and aspects of the youths experiences lead to the greatest self sufficiency. This study utilizes the systems theory to analyze the way youths interact with the different agencies and support systems in their lives. The use of systems theory will help determine what systems or lack of systems contributes to the greatest self sufficiency. The study will analyze not only participation in independent living programs, but support systems such as interactions with caseworkers, schools, families, and employment agencies. Risk to Participants
Research will be carried out through interviews, no risk of physical harm.
Some questions may cause distress to participants, so counselors will be available to all participating in person or over the phone.
Informed Consent
Participants will recieve and sign informed consent forms in their preferred language before any participation is granted. Participants will be made aware of what information is shared and how it is used in the consent forms. Research members will transcribe all interviews to maintain confidentiality.
Target Population
Young adults who have aged out of the foster care system, aged 17-30
Sampling Method
Purposive - gathered from DFPS databases of foster care youth
sample size difficult to determine, but preferably 10% of population.
Research will be cross sectional.
Interviews will be conducted in person and over the phone.
Interviews will be recorded and transcribed for analysis by research team members.
Interviews will be analyzed using inductive analysis.
Results will be coded to develop patterns, definitions, and abstract meanings.
Because our data is qualitative, no software is required. Data is subject to interpretation and can be influenced by the respondants memories and emotions. Age may impact the strength of memories as well as negative emotions. Respondants may over or under exaggerate situations based on the emotions tied to them. Respondant error is also possible with questions tied to substance use as participants may want to downplay any illegal drug use or alcohol abuse. Factors discovered can be implemented into evidence based practice.
Information on the outcomes of participants in Independent Living Programs will help change framework and develop more successful programs
Gives social workers the ability to combat risk factors
Policy can be shaped to target the factors that contribute the most to youth's self sufficiency.
Information may help increase funding to programs for youth once they age out of the system. ACH Child and Family Services
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
Title-IVE Funds
Workforce Investment Act Funds
Union Gospel Mission
Salvation Army
Tarrant County Homeless Coalition
Texas Workforce Commission
Cal Farley's A Research proposal investigating factors affecting self sufficiency in foster care youth in Texas
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