Understanding vocational rehabilitation service access among adolescents and young adults in foster care

Carol Haywood, Judy Havlicek, Vanessa V. Klodnick, Lucy A. Bilaver*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Using mixed methods, this study examined vocational rehabilitation (VR) access for foster youth with disabilities through child welfare agencies in Illinois. First, one agency completed a process mapping exercise to document VR referral practices. Second, agencies (N = 26) across the state completed surveys about knowledge and use of VR. Only 50% of agencies assessed employment needs at intake, and although 71% of agencies were familiar with the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)-funded VR, only 39% made referrals. Increased collaboration across child welfare agencies and DRS is needed to ensure vulnerable youth are effectively connected to disability-specific employment services supporting economic stability into adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-516
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Public Child Welfare
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Transition aged youth
  • child welfare
  • disability
  • employment
  • foster youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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