Primary Sources: Improving Outcomes for Youth in Transition

Photograph of smiling young adults.

Improving Outcomes for Youth in Transition,” Journal of Child and Youth Care Work, Vol. 23, 2010.

What it’s about: Between 2005 and 2008, the University of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Human Services developed a training program for supervisors, caseworkers and community partners of the Iowa child welfare system in order to help foster youth better transition to living independently.

Why read it: The authors focus on the step-by-step process of designing and implementing a statewide training program. The program trains supervisors in key concepts around transition planning and helps them facilitate trainings with their own staff and other community agencies. The authors discuss challenges they encountered along the way and how they worked on overcoming them.

Biggest takeaways for youth workers: Through a process of research and focus groups, the authors designed a curriculum based on a few principles that are key to successful transition:

  • Start early (when the youth is 14 or younger)
  • Incorporate Positive Youth Development into supervision and case planning
  • Promote culturally responsive practice with older youth in care
  • Build and sustain permanent connections
  • Develop community collaborations for youth in transition

Additional reference: For information on all curricula developed through the Training of Child Welfare Agency Supervisors in the Effective Delivery and Management of Federal Independent Living Service for Youth in Foster Care grant program, visit this page on the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

(Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of NCFY, FYSB or the Administration for Children and Families. Go to the NCFY literature database for abstracts of this and other publications.)

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