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"Some Type of Way": An Ethnography of Youth Aging Out of the Child Welfare System

Schelbe, Lisa/A (2013) "Some Type of Way": An Ethnography of Youth Aging Out of the Child Welfare System. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In the United States, the average 18-year-old is not expected to live without support and resources from his or her family. However, in many states, youth leave the child welfare system because at their age they are no longer eligible to receive services. In many states this is at age 18. These youth “aging out” of the system must negotiate the transition out of care simultaneously with the transition to adulthood. Unsurprisingly, youth aging out of the child welfare system experience poor outcomes compared to their age-mates across multiple domains including employment, education, housing, health, substance use, mental health, justice system involvement, and early parenting. While agencies offer services targeting youth aging out, hardships and poor outcomes persist. The difficulties these youth negotiate are complex and influenced by structural conditions. An understanding of how youth aging out negotiate the transition out of the child welfare system is lacking. This ethnography explores the experiences and struggles of youth aging out as they leave care. Additionally, the study examines and critiques services for youth aging out. Using a capital development perspective as a framework, this study offers unique insights about how policies and programs can assist youth transition out of the child welfare system more smoothly.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Schelbe, Lisa/ALIS38@pitt.eduLIS38
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairShook, Jeffreyjes98@pitt.eduJES98
Committee MemberWallace, Johnjohnw@pitt.eduJOHNW
Committee MemberGoodkind, Sarasag51@pitt.eduSAG51
Committee MemberRauktis, Mary Bethmar104@pitt.eduMAR104
Committee MemberTerry, Martha Amaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Date: 27 June 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 June 2013
Approval Date: 27 June 2013
Submission Date: 27 June 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 247
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Social Work > Social Work
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aging out Child welfare Care Leavers Capital Development Perspective
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2013 19:20
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:13

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