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NCJ Number: NCJ 241459     Find in a Library
Title: Adolescent Brain: New Research and Its Implications for Young People Transitioning From Foster Care, Executive Summary
  Document URL: PDF 
Corporate Author: Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
United States of America
Date Published: 2011
Page Count: 8
  Annotation: After reviewing recent research findings on the characteristics of the brain at the adolescent stage of development, this executive summary draws implications of these findings for youth transitioning from foster care.
Abstract: Research in neuroscience has found that in adolescence, the brain experiences a period of major development comparable to that of early childhood. Unlike young children in foster care, for whom safety and protection are the greatest need, older youth are in the process of developing independent identities, establishing emotion and psychological independence, framing adult vocational goals, learning to manage sexuality and sexual identity, adopting a personal value system, and developing increased impulse control and behavioral maturity. Chemical changes in the brain prime adolescents for risk-taking in which they learn from experience and mistakes, which include gaining greater self-regulation as well as coping and resiliency skills. Based on adolescent needs related to the characteristics of this stage of brain development this study offers recommendations for interactions with and services for adolescents who are transitioning from foster care. One recommendation is to take a positive youth-development approach to all opportunities for adolescents in foster care. This is particularly important for youth whose development has been impaired by trauma and loss. A second recommendation is to provide “interdependent” living services that connect adolescents with family and caring adults. A third recommendation is that adults who have significant interactions with foster adolescents be informed about the nature and effects of trauma and positive responses to it. A fourth recommendation is to engage youth in their planning and decisionmaking. A fifth recommendation is to extend appropriate foster care to age 21. Steps for implementing each of these recommendations are outlined.
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): Juvenile processing ; Youth development ; Research uses in policymaking ; Social control ; Juvenile sentencing
Sale Source: Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
222 South Central, Suite 305
St. Louis, MO 63105
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis ; Literature Review ; Report (Summary)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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