The Social Capital of Youth in Foster Care

Matthew Stagner and Daniel Kuehn

in Child Welfare and Child Well-Being

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780195398465
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199863426 | DOI:
The Social Capital of Youth in Foster Care

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This chapter looks into the lives of adolescents in foster care. It previews the challenges likely to be faced by older youths who have been in or have recently entered the foster care system. It is hypothesized that children remaining in the parental home will be higher in bonding social capital but lower in bridging social capital than children taken into foster care. There is partial support for this hypothesis in terms of the “closeness” in-home youths report feeling with their caregivers, but there are lower levels of child protection and monitoring there than for children in out-of-home care. For bridging social capital there are expected differences, with youths in out-of-home care having potential access to greater educational, occupational, and economic resources than youths who remain in the parental home. The analyses suggest that bridging social capital may decline over time for youths with increased amounts of time in the parental home.

Keywords: NSCAW; foster children; adolescence; foster care system; social capital

Chapter.  5784 words.  Illustrated.

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