Guidelines for an independent living programme preparing children aging out of foster care
Youth leaving foster care are ill-prepared for life after foster care. They are left to face numerous challenges, such as unemployment, homelessness and lack of interpersonal relationships, which impact their young adult life. The transition into adulthood is a frightening process for any young person, but is most frightening for the child aging out of alternative care, such as foster care, especially if they are orphans and unable to be reunified with biological parents. The South African legislation does make provision for independent living preparation for children aging out of foster care, but there is no guidelines or programmes in place to assist social workers to provide these services to foster children, starting from the age of 15 years old. This qualitative study aimed to explore the views and understanding of previous foster youth who aged out of care. Semi-structured interviews were done with 12 participants. The findings indicated that guidelines for social workers are needed to prepare youth aging out of foster care to provide them with the necessary skills such as vocational skills or interpersonal skills to be empowered as they enter into adulthood.
- Health Sciences