“They Show Us that We’re Important”: Facilitators of Service Utilization Among Expectant and Parenting Youth with Foster Care Histories

Kalah M. Villagrana, Ann Turnlund Carver, Lynn C. Holley, Ijeoma Nwabuzor Ogbonnaya, Tonia Stott, Ramona Denby-Brinson, Kristin Ferguson-Colvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Expectant or parenting youth (EPY) with foster care histories are often in need of a range of services yet experience barriers to accessing and utilizing those services. This exploratory qualitative study was informed by ecological systems theory and utilized interviews and focus groups with EPY (n = 11) and service providers (n = 28) to identify factors that facilitate service utilization for EPY. We found characteristics at the service provider, agency, and system levels that act as facilitators. Service provider characteristics that facilitate service use include empathy and trustworthiness, supportive navigation, and youth-centeredness. Agency facilitators included representative diversity and inclusivity, trauma-informed training and practice, and availability of tangible supports. System facilitators included having a variety of service providers, systems integration, and co-location. Findings provide a more nuanced understanding of the facilitators that contribute to EPY’s service utilization. Future research is warranted to examine how these youth- and provider-identified drivers of service use influence health, mental health, parenting, education, relationships, employment, and housing outcomes for EPY.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChild and Adolescent Social Work Journal
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Fathers in foster care
  • Foster care history
  • Mothers in foster care
  • Parenting
  • Pregnant and expecting
  • Qualitative study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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