The experience with independent living services for youth in care and those formerly in care

Heather M. Thompson, Armeda Stevenson Wojciak, Morgan E. Cooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A significant amount of attention has been paid to the experiences of young people who have spent time in foster care. Policies and programs have focused on providing independent living services to youth currently in care and services to those who were formerly in foster care but are living independently. The purpose of this study was to describe the receipt of independent living services of youth who were formerly in care and who are currently living independently, while also looking at the skills and resources of youth who are currently in foster care. This study drew from a national data set, The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being II (NSCAW II) and included both former youth (n = 127) and those currently in care (n = 106). While most former youth reported possessing documents associated with independent living, a significant portion reported a lack of several resources that aid in independent living. Youth currently in care did not report the majority of skills associated with living independently. Additionally, most youth denied the receipt of resources needed for obtaining those skills through independent living services. Implications for practice and policy, as well as suggestions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging out
  • Former foster youth
  • Independent living programs
  • Independent living skills


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