Barriers and facilitators of the transition to adulthood for foster youth with autism spectrum disorder: Perspectives of service providers in Illinois

Judy Havlicek*, Lucy Bilaver, Marissa Beldon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The lack of established and well-evaluated models of coordination between child welfare agencies and other public institutions presents lingering challenges to preparing foster youth to make the transition to adulthood. This may be particularly true for foster youth with developmental disabilities who must exit child welfare systems and enter into adult service systems, if eligible. The qualitative study we present explores the barriers and facilitators of the transition to adult service systems from the perspectives of service providers. Due to the rising prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the general population, focus groups were specifically conducted to better understand the transition of foster youth with ASD. Barriers included perceptions of two separate systems and abrupt transitions; a lack of training, identification, and tracking of autism; and confusion about services and funding. Facilitators included persistence and professional relationship building, and consistent communication and information sharing. Implications for improving the transition to adult service systems are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-128
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume60
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Focus groups
  • Foster youth with autism
  • Inter-agency collaboration
  • Service provider perspectives
  • Transition to adulthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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