This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Foster Care Graduates' Experiences Obtaining Life Skills




Upshaw, April

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling


Foster care is the 24-hour temporary care for children outside their homes (Department of Social Services, 2016). Children are often placed in foster care because they have “suffered abuse, neglect, abandonment, or the loss of a parent” (Keller, Cusick, & Courtney, 2007, p. 455). The expectation of foster care is that the removal of children from inadequate and/or substandard conditions will provide them with holistic wellness and a quality life as adults. The high propensity of foster care graduates to endure poverty, school withdrawal, substance abuse, generational foster care, incarceration, and early death suggests that there are deficits in this well intended social service. Life skills attainment is one of the necessary contributors to self-sufficiency. This study examined foster care graduates’ perceptions of the support they received in foster care to obtain life skills related to self-care, positive relationships and communication, money management, career planning, post-secondary education, housing stability, future planning, and performing daily tasks.