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Adolescents' perspectives on placement moves and congregate settings: Complex and cumulative instabilities in out-of-home care

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  • Hyde, Justeen
  • Kammerer, Nina

Abstract

Based on repeated in-depth interviews with youth aged 16-19 in the care of the Department of Social Services in Massachusetts, this paper examines adolescents' perspectives on out-of-home placements. It answers calls for scholarly focus on the voices of those who have experienced foster care and to ways their words can inform child welfare research, policy, and practice. Material from interviews illustrates the complex and cumulative instabilities adolescents experience in out-of-home placements and their impact on them. Since the majority of adolescents interviewed, and many others in child welfaresystems, spend some or all of their teenage years in congregate care settings, understanding theirexperiences in such settings is important. The conclusion examines implications of adolescents'perspectives for research, in particular on how to improve measurement of stability and instability in care.Implications for policy and practice include developing system-level strategies for minimizing transitions andseizing opportunities to strengthen skills among adolescents facing transitions. In addition, providingtrauma-informed training and support for caregivers to encourage appropriate handling of so-called "problembehaviors" and modeling of healthy transitions can help youth avoid the many negative outcomes associatedwith having lived in out-of-home placements and develop into mature and independent adults.

Suggested Citation

  • Hyde, Justeen & Kammerer, Nina, 2009. "Adolescents' perspectives on placement moves and congregate settings: Complex and cumulative instabilities in out-of-home care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 265-273, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:31:y:2009:i:2:p:265-273
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    References listed on IDEAS

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