2022 Research Report
Over the past 3 years, our Texas Permanency Study has followed 197 youth in foster care to discover what helps them thrive in adulthood. Our final report shows that supporting better outcomes in emerging adulthood means:
-Prioritizing lasting connections with caring adults, peers, and community
-Providing an environment conducive to normal and developmentally appropriate social experiences
-Supporting the development of competency through experiential learning
-Increasing social emotional wellbeing through mental health services and sexual health and relationship education
2022 Executive Summary
The Texas Youth Permanency Study followed a cohort of youth in foster care as they entered adulthood. By examining their experiences and trajectories over a three-year period we sought to find new ways of understanding the factors that allow youth in foster care to thrive in young adulthood.
The Concept of Normalcy in Child Welfare
Based on findings of the Texas Youth Permanency Study, we developed a Framework for Normalcy in Child Welfare that illustrates the practice and benefits of normalcy while developing awareness of social and cultural values that undergird our understanding of what is normal, developmentally expected, and socially appropriate.
2021 Research Report
Our interim report from the first year of the Texas Foster Youth Permanency Study centers the voices of youth participants and fills critical knowledge gaps about what helps youth in care thrive in emerging adulthood. Three key themes arose from our interviews and surveys with youth:
- Connections with peers in school contribute to academic success and wellbeing
- Empowering youth starts with active listening
- Healthy relationships conversations are essential
Initial Pilot Study Findings
The ongoing Texas Youth Permanency Study explores the complexities of permanency with youth currently in the foster care system in Texas. Preliminary findings suggest that:
- Authentic relationships matter most.
- Every child needs to feel normal.
- Authentic relationships and feeling normal foster well-being in adulthood.