Date of this Version
Youth depart residential care with many continued risk factors, unique needs, and challenges as they reintegrate into the home, school, and community settings. Currently, there is limited research on needs and best practices in aftercare services and supports for youth departing from residential settings and even less is known about how these differ by gender. While preliminary studies have explored perceptions of need during reintegration and aftercare by youth and caregivers, little is known about how these may differ by gender or if perceptions change over time after experiencing the initial transition period. One way to address this knowledge gap is to identify how prepared males and females feel for reintegration in critical life domains, their beliefs about aftercare, and preferences regarding potential services or supports to aide in the reintegration at discharge and following the initial transition period. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore if males and females differ on preparedness for reintegration across critical life domains, beliefs about aftercare, and preferences regarding potential services or supports to aide in the reintegration at departure (N = 132) and six months after youth have transitioned out of residential care (N = 29). Overall, very few differences were found between males and females at departure and follow-up. Implications, limitations, and future research are discussed.
Advisor: Michael H. Epstein