Youth aging out of foster care are at increased risk of negative outcomes such as poverty, substance abuse, and homelessness. The child welfare system has historically provided "independent living" services. This article builds upon the recent shift to "interdependent living" approaches by describing skills for various stages of relationships, including the youth's relationships with their caseworker and foster family centering around the need to define clear expectations and model healthy relationship skills. Youth must recognize their risk patterns and need for professional support, and develop educational/vocational goals for mentoring. Future relationships often include reconnecting with birth families and dating/romantic relationships, requiring an exploration of physical and emotional safety and establishment of healthy patterns for life-long relationships. (Author abstract)
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Fostering Interdependent Versus Independent Living in Youth Aging Out of Care Through Healthy Relationships.