Professional and youth perspectives on higher education-focused interventions for youth transitioning from foster care

Child Youth Serv Rev. 2016 May:64:23-34. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.02.027.


Youth transitioning from foster care to adulthood access and succeed in college at much lower rates than the general population. A variety of services exist to support youth with their postsecondary goals, but few if any have evidence for their effectiveness. As part of a National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded intervention development project to design Fostering Higher Education, a structured, testable postsecondary access and retention intervention for youth transitioning from foster care to adulthood, focus groups were conducted with community stakeholders to collect recommendations for how to most effectively structure the intervention. Analyses of focus group findings resulted in four theme groups: (1) general recommendations for intervention development; (2) recommendations for an educational advocacy intervention component; (3) recommendations for a mentoring intervention component; and (4) recommendations for a substance abuse prevention intervention component. These themes offered a variety of important insights for developing interventions in a way that is usable for youth and feasible for communities to implement.

Keywords: Child welfare; Focus groups; Foster care; Higher education; Intervention development; Postsecondary.