Title

Psychological Empowerment and the Pursuit of Social Change: Outcomes of Foster Youth Engagement

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-26-2016

Abstract

Youth aging out of foster care are assumed to embody a disempowered group, for whom civic engagement opportunities are rare. Utilizing a targeted initiative, this study explores individual- and community-level outcomes derived from foster youth civic engagement. Data were collected via: (a) interview and survey research with foster youth advisory board leaders; (b) interview and survey research with civic youth workers; and, (c) non-participant observation of five foster youth advisory board meetings. Directed content analysis revealed three emergent themes, which transcended the data inductively (Opportunity through Access; Positive Conceptions of New Jersey's Department of Children and Families; and, Participatory Competence). These themes support and extend our current understanding of empowering outcomes for this population. Implications for research, policy, and practice are discussed.

DOI

10.1080/15548732.2016.1140698

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