Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Journal of Public Child Welfare


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.



Published Citation

Forenza, B. (2016). Psychological empowerment and the pursuit of social change: Outcomes of foster youth engagement. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 10(3), 274-290.

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