Owning and operating a nonprofit, group home for teenage girls has given Dr. Lanetta N. Greer a keen understanding of the challenges that they face.
Home 4 the Heart, her facility, has helped almost two hundred girls over ten years. But assisting, supporting, and advocating for the girls that live at its three facilities has required lots of creativity.
While Child Protective Services wants children to do well, the youth that they place in out-of-home care often have negative life outcomes. The lack of daily intimate contact with a caregiver causes somewhat of a constant disconnect—and normal daily relationships and activities with supportive caregivers are not always possible for youth in out-of-home care.
In this qualitative study of young women who aged out of out-of-home care, the author describes family life, growing up in out-of-home care, and life after aging out. The results of the study will better inform service providers working with youth in foster/group homes, schools, juvenile justice placements, and community programs.
The study’s findings and insights offer more effective ways of assisting, supporting, and advocating for youth to ensure a more successful transition to independence after aging out.