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NCJ Number: 114229 Find in a Library
Title: New Legal Options To Prepare Adolescents for Independent Living
Journal: Child Welfare  Volume:67  Issue:6  Dated:(November/December 1988)  Pages:529-546
Author(s): M Hardin
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 18
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: New legal alternatives are needed to help older adolescents who are living apart from their families to make the gradual transition to self-sufficiency.
Abstract: Currently these adolescents have only two legal alternatives in most States. These are agency legal custody, with a foster family or group care, and emancipation. In many cases, neither of these choices facilitates a smooth transition from adolescence to adulthood. Two new alternatives are needed to allow mature young persons to practice limited independence and to receive some continued aid and supervision from child welfare agencies. These are independent-living arrangements and special programs for young adults who were formerly in agency custody. Independent-living arrangements are appropriate only for the small group of young people who are mature enough to be capable of living outside the constant supervision of a family or an institution. They are not appropriate for adolescents who are troublesome and difficult to place and who are not prepared to function independently. State laws should allow continued assistance and supervision on a voluntary basis until age 21, continued foster family and group care beyond age 18 for all who need it, reentry into the system by young people who have not been successful in independent living, and the possibility of aid after age 18 for young people not in foster or group care or in an independent-living arrangement. Charts and 24 references. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Youth development
Index Term(s): Age of legal majority; Juvenile educational services; Juvenile foster homes; Law reform; Life skills training; State laws
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