The next chapter: a practical guide for individuals, families, communities, social workers, and organizations supporting indigenous youth aging-out of care




Mahikwa, Robert

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This research utilized Indigenous methodologies rooted in oral traditions, storytelling practices, and the Medicine Wheel teachings to examine how individuals, families, communities, social workers, and organizations can assist Indigenous youth who are aging-out of foster care and are transitioning into adulthood. The methods of inquiry included five one-on-one Story-Sharing Sessions with Indigenous adults who previously aged-out of care in British Columbia, and two Talking Circles comprised of ten Community Helpers including Elders, Mentors, Educators, and Foster Parents; and fifteen Delegated Aboriginal Agency Social Workers who worked directly and/or indirectly with Indigenous youth in and from foster care. This research was person-centered, strengths-based, and solutions-focused, and re-framed ‘aging-out of care’ terminology as ‘a transition into adulthood’ to honour the sacred life-cycle teachings of the Medicine Wheel. The core aim of this research was to aid in the development of a highly adaptive practical guide and theoretical framework for supporting Indigenous youth in and from care.



Indigenous, Aboriginal, First Nation, Child Welfare, Aged-out, Aging-out, Transition into adulthood, Foster Care