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Fostering Peace: The Impact of a Nonprofit Community-Based Organization on Young Foster Youths’ Social-Emotional Development and Pre-Academic Skills.

Publication Year: 
Personal Author: 
Alpert, Carrie.
Page Count: 

The dissertation shares the findings of a study that investigated the impact of Peace4Kids, a nonprofit community-based organization, on young foster youths’ social-emotional development and pre-academic skills. Data collected from six parents, two teachers, and two administrators during semi-structured interviews documented children’s experiences as they attended the organization’s Saturday Core Program. Participants noted that as foster children (ages 4-6) participated in a variety of curricular and co-curricular experiences at Peace4Kids, their social, emotional, and academic development were positively impacted. Parents, teachers, and administrators reported that the organization’s culture of consistency, trust, and accountability promoted secure attachment relationships among foster youth, staff members, and peers at the Saturday Core Program. Participants iterated that secure relationships provided a foundation for foster children to subsequently acquire social and emotional capacities, including persistence, conflict resolution, self-regulation, and autonomy. As youth in foster care developed social-emotional competencies, pre-academic skills such as literacy and numeracy emerged. The paper concludes that the study’s findings indicate that a comprehensive approach is necessary to address the unique needs of foster children who have experienced prior trauma. 1 figure, 3 tables, and numerous references.

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