College of Education Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Curriculum & Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Horace Hall

Second Advisor

Dr. Sandra Jackson

Third Advisor

Dr. Bernadette Sanchez

Abstract

African-American girls are entering foster care and experiencing longer stays in a system that was not intended to facilitate adolescents transitioning into adulthood. For African American adolescent girls many remain in care indefinitely and move from one temporary foster home, group home and institution to another, with little stability or preparation for the future. Although the Adoption and Safe Families Act (AFSA) of 1994 and other policy reforms were designed to guide the temporary placement of children in foster care, this has not been the case, particularly for African American females. Upon entrance into foster care, African American adolescent females face many challenges. These include poor performance in school, multiple placements, social-emotional/mental health issues-separation from their families, loss/abandonment, and other related traumas. The purpose of this study is to enhance knowledge of the experiences of African- American adolescent females simultaneously involved in the educational and foster care system and the meaning of their experiences as they transition into womanhood. The aim of this study is to understand the complexities faced by a vulnerable population--African- American adolescent females and how they make meaning of their experience while participating in both institutions of care.