Resilient Outcomes among Youth Aging-Out of Foster Care: Findings from the National Youth in Transition Database

Svetlana Shpiegel, Cassandra Simmel, Beth Sapiro, Silvia Ramirez Quiroz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The period of transition from foster care to independent living is frequently associated with poor outcomes. While some studies have conveyed patterns of resilience among transition-age foster youth, additional research is needed to examine its stability over time. The present study used data from the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) and the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) to examine the rates and stability of positive, or “resilient” outcomes among foster youth at ages 19 and 21 (N = 4,631). We included domains such as education, employment, and risky behaviors in our assessment of resilient outcomes. About 40% of youth met the criteria for resilience at ages 19 and 21 (i.e., “sustained resilience” group), an additional 28% met the criteria for resilience at one time point only (i.e., “periodic resilience” group), and 30% did not meet the criteria for resilience at any point (i.e., “sustained non-resilience” group). Several risk, protective, and child welfare factors were associated with manifestations of resilient outcomes during the period of transition to adulthood. Implications for policy, practice, and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Child Welfare
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • aging-out
  • child welfare
  • Resilience
  • risk and protective factors
  • secondary data analysis

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