Youth in transition and foster care alumni as empowered consumers

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Family Social Work

Publication Date


Date Added



This study examined perceptions of youth in transition and recent foster care alumni, regarding how child welfare services and resources may have helped them to succeed, and whether their connections with other youth in transition and alumni contributed to their success. Success was conceptualized as educational achievement, employment and empowerment. Using a critical youth empowerment framework, connections were assessed for youth in transition and alumni as members of a community, using a construct of attitudes and behaviors demonstrating a collective approach to common goals. The study consisted of a quantitative analysis of secondary data published in 2013 by the Multi-Site Evaluation of Foster Youth Programs, examining the reported perceptions of over 1,200 young people who had experience in foster care. Findings showed an association between success and transition services (i.e. managing finances, mentoring), and resources (i.e. tuition, security deposits). Empowerment was evidenced by community action, leadership activities and expectations for success. Youth in transition rarely reported having a voice in evaluation of the relevance and helpfulness of the services they received. The input of youth in transition, welcomed as valuable consumer feedback, could enhance improvement of child welfare outcomes, and advance more empowered and successful foster care alumni.




Social Work