Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 175–185 | Cite as

Psychological Well-Being, Risk, and Resilience of Youth in Out-Of-Home Care and Former Foster Youth

  • Elizabeth J. GreenoEmail author
  • Lisa Fedina
  • Bethany R. Lee
  • Jill Farrell
  • Deborah Harburger


This study assesses psychological well-being, risk, and resilience of youth currently in-care and former foster youth and how preparation for independent living affects these factors. Findings suggest significant psychosocial distress for former foster youth. Youth currently in-care fared better but demonstrated high scores on measures suggesting risk and potential for future mental health challenges. For former foster youth, independent living preparation positively impacted well-being. The more preparation for independence a youth received, the lower the psychological challenges. Findings suggest the need for mental health support for transitioning youth as well as preparation for independent living as a way to improve the well-being of former foster youth.


Foster care Mental health older youth in foster care Child welfare Risk and older youth child welfare 



The study was supported by a grant from the Administration for Children & Families [HHS-2013-ACF-ACYF-CA-0636] to Elizabeth J. Greeno, Principal Investigator.


Funded through Planning Grants to Develop a Model Intervention for Youth/Young Adults with Child Welfare Involvement At-Risk of Homelessness [HHS-2013-ACF-ACYF-CA-0636]

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Disclosure of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards and Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation [institutional and national] and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth J. Greeno
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lisa Fedina
    • 1
  • Bethany R. Lee
    • 1
  • Jill Farrell
    • 2
  • Deborah Harburger
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of MarylandBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.The Institute for Innovation and Implementation, School of Social WorkUniversity of MarylandBaltimoreUSA

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