Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Social Welfare

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, iv, 152 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Katharine Briar-Lawson

Committee Members

Dana Peterson, Toni Naccarato


independent living, transition age youth, Group homes for youth, Foster children, Homeless youth

Subject Categories

Social Work


The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of an Independent Living Program in upstate New York on foster and homeless youths’ ability to successfully transition to independence. The quantitative portion of this mixed methodology study examines whether or not the program as a whole had any effect on the progress of youth in the domains of employment, housing and education. The results indicate that greater number of days in the program and a thorough discharge plan were associated with positive outcomes for youth. The qualitative portion of this study provides much needed descriptive data on youths’ attitudes and opinions regarding the provision of independent living services and what is needed by youth to prepare for the transition to independent living, and sustain independence post discharge. The results indicate that youth need a tailored plan for services and long term plans for financial stability in order to prevent homelessness. Results also explore several areas of discrepancies. This includes the behavioral health needs of youth at intake versus their perceived key service needs, and the reported positive experiences of youth versus their premature unplanned program discharge.

Included in

Social Work Commons