This paper addresses the need for improved transition planning with adolescents getting ready to leave foster care and strike out on their own. Its focus is not on the event, but the physical, emotional, developmental and psychological process the youth encounters and how agencies can help.
The act of transitioning from foster care is a process, not an event.
While the number of children and youth in foster care has declined, the number of youth exiting care through emancipation (aging out) or running away has increased.
A transition plan is ineffective if there is no follow through by supportive people.
To increase teen buy-in, use a strengths-based focus instead of a deficit-only review.
Transition planning itself can promote resilience by allowing young people to practice decision making and problem solving.
Statements & Quotations
While the creation of a transition plan might be seen as a singular event, the process of transitioning is often not. A youth may move out of a foster home on a certain day, but the process of finding, selecting, and establishing a new residence may take many months of preparation and transition.
These new findings about the adolescent brain should be utilized to support programs and services that are developmentally appropriate and that recognize adolescence as a unique period of opportunity when young people can develop abilities that will be carried throughout their lives.
Change [is] an external event or situation that happens relatively fast and is defined by an outcome. Transition, on the other hand, is described as a slowly occurring internal process that encompasses the psychological reorientation that individuals experience when faced with change.
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