Transitioning from child welfare into adulthood: a meta-analysis of North American interventions




Healey, Priscilla

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Objective: To assess the impact of North American transition programs for youth emerging to adulthood on education, housing, relationship, identity formation, youth engagement, life skills, mental health, and financial outcomes. Methods: Electronic databases, grey literature sites, and research articles were searched to identify randomized control trials and quasi-experimental designed studies examining the effectiveness of transition programs for foster youth. Cochrane Collaboration criteria were used to conduct, identify and assess potential studies. Whenever possible data was extracted and synthesized with random effect, inverse variance meta-analyses. Results: A total of eight studies including 1560 participants were included in this review. Data suggests that interventions focusing on teaching independent living skills are no more effective at improving outcomes for youth when compared with services “as usual.” Youth who participated in school-based self-determination programs showed improved outcomes in transition planning, quality of life, and self-determination. Conclusion: These results are preliminary and should be interpreted with caution. The studies examined here had small sample sizes, and may not have had enough power to detect a real difference. More research is needed.



Child welfare, Life skills, Youth--Counselling of