Current Research

A framework for understanding community adaptation processes for youth leaving residential care

There is little information about the long term life trajectories of children and adolescents after they leave residential mental health care. How do younger children leaving these programs handle the challenges of adolescence and high school? How do adolescents and young adults from these programs fare in the worlds of education, employment, and adult relationships? What happens to these families as their children cross major developmental thresholds?

This project (Phase 4) continues the program of youth community adaptation research carried out by the Partnerships for Children and Families Project for the past ten years. Over 200 youth, parents, and mental health professionals have shared their experiences with us about what it’s like for youth adapting to community living following a stay in residential care.

Earlier phases explored the challenges and successes for youth in areas of living such as education, employment, personal functioning, contact with the law, relationships, and substance use.