Document Type



According to Geenen & Powers (2007), youth transition into adulthood from foster care with little to no assistance from support systems, including family. Through in-depth qualitative interviews, this study explores the experiences and insights of young adults, ages 18-25 years old, previously in the care of the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families (DCF). The primary goal of this research is to determine the importance of building supportive relationships between social workers and youth in foster care to better equip youth for independence and success after care. The findings revealed five major themes: care takers as support systems, preparedness for independence, other support systems, long lasting relationships and risk behaviors. Youth in this study stress the importance of long lasting relationships as they transition into adulthood, stating it was more important than formal services. Further, they state that they do not feel fully prepared to transition to adulthood, and give recommendations on how social workers can better equip youth aging out of foster care. This study adds to the literature on importance of building long lasting supportive relationships. The study also hopes to guide social workers in how creating long lasting supportive relationships can help youth aging out of the foster system.


Social Work

Thesis Comittee

Beverly Lovett (Thesis Director)

Emily Douglas

Leslie Sattler

Copyright and Permissions

Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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Social Work Commons