Experiences and needs of homeless youth with a history of foster care

Bender, K.,
Yang, J.,
Ferguson, K.,
Thompson, S.
Year Published: 2015
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Children and Youth Services Review
Volume: 55


In this large multi-site pilot study, the authors explored the experiences and needs of homeless youth with a history of foster care. The sample consisted of 601 youth seeking homeless services, including 221 with a history of foster care involvement. Youth with a history of foster care were generally living in precarious situations, characterized as dangerous and unstable, and they had significant needs with regard to education, income generation, mental health, and substance use treatment. Although few differences emerged between youth who reported a history of foster care and those who did not, foster youth reported greater childhood maltreatment and longer duration of homelessness. Foster youth who reported greater transience and childhood physical neglect, as well as those who were living with relatives, friends, foster parents, or in facilities in the prior 6 months, reported a longer duration of homelessness. The authors discuss the implications for child welfare and homeless youth service organizations regarding the unique needs of foster care youth who become homeless. Modified Author Abstract.

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