Young Women's Perceived Challenges: Living Independently After Aging Out of Foster Care

Young Women's Perceived Challenges: Living Independently After Aging Out of Foster Care

Author: 
Kathleen R. Baker
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore perceptions of young women who aged out of foster care to live independently. Data collected for the study were from the metropolitan area of Kansas City, Missouri, using a recording device during one-on-one interviews with three young women over the age of 18. None of the young women were pregnant at the time of the research study, and all three had aged out of the foster care system in Metropolitan Kansas City. The data were analyzed using NVivo10™ software to identify themes. The identified themes resulting from the participants' answers included homelessness, fear, unemployment, lack of trust, anger, and loss of family and other connections. These identified themes could help social workers and other support personnel develop resources that could better help young women transitioning to independent living.
Dedication: 
To my parents, the late Harry Thomas and Ruth Naomi Jenkins. They taught me a work ethic without which I could not have finished this journey. My late siblings, Frances Naomi Hill, Reuben Daniel Jenkins, Katie Mae Trezvant, and James Edward Jenkins, who always supported me in all of my pursuits. My remaining siblings, children, and grandchildren who have always inspired me to reach higher. To all of the transitioning youth who may have a more positive outcome because of this study and other studies like it.
Acknowledgements: 
A special thank you to my daughter Leigh Christine, who kept me company many days and nights as I poured over journal searches, papers, documents, rewrites and more rewrites, I appreciate the company so much. Thanks to my daughter, Sheri Lynette who always managed to drag me to a movie with my grandson Jonathan, so I could relax and get back to the tasks. A special thank you to my committee chair and mentor Dr. Patricia Steele. Thank you so much for staying the course, for sticking with me through this massive paper journey, for your support and continued constructive feedback that have kept me focused even in the time of severe frustrations. Thank you to my committee member Dr. Joseph B. Clift, who came on board when I thought all was lost. Dr. Marjorie A Williams who signed on to be a part of this team when I felt very helpless and lost in my search for a third team member. Thank you both for your timely and conscientious feedback. Thank you all three for committing to be a part of this supportive team from start to finish. The three of you made me feel as though I am doing something that matters for many and can be helpful to many more. Thank you to the young women who felt strong enough to tell their stories to the benefit and good of others who will come after them. Thank you to those whose fears may one day be allayed so your voices can reach out to others in need. Thank you all and to God Be the Glory! You may write me down in history, with your bitter twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I'll rise.…….Maya Angelou