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2016FallSymposiumURCreativityEngagement has ended
Tuesday, December 6 • 8:20am - 8:40am
Through The Eyes Of A Foster Child: Examining The Experiences Of Foster Children Through In-Depth Narratives

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The U.S. foster care system has long been a subject of interest and scrutiny for researchers and policy makers. Multiple studies have demonstrated connections between foster care and other undesirable outcomes, such as involvement in the juvenile justice system, high rates of criminality, and high rates of homelessness. It is important to pursue research that complements large-scale statistical analyses in order to uncover the complexity of experiences among children in foster care and to paint a more holistic picture of the foster care system. Further exploration of the experiences of children in foster care through personal narratives grant autonomy to the individual, which is of paramount importance for individuals who have experienced a system in which autonomy is often diminished. This study undertakes a content analysis of memoirs written by adults who have directly experienced foster care. Preliminary analyses suggest aspects of social and internal life that - though often overlooked - may be significant in the development of children. This includes the significance of peer relations when other relationships are lacking, such as parental figures. This study aims to highlight the experiences of foster children through a compassionate lens to assist in better understanding what children need in order to mitigate negative experiences while in the system and beyond.

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Tuesday December 6, 2016 8:20am - 8:40am
237 Zageir Hall