- Caregivers and Potential Caregivers
Targeted Age Group(s)
- 18 or older
QIC-EY Engagement Model Components (i) The engagement model components were identified through the QIC-EY Environmental Scan as critical to the support of youth engagement in the attainment of permanence.
- Prioritize Legal, Relational and Cultural Permanence
C.A.R.E. is a research-informed intervention for older youth in foster care. At the heart of the intervention is the nurturing of resilience through the development of supportive adult relationships for youth in care who are at risk of aging out. In 2015, C.A.R.E. was piloted in partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Human Services through a planning grant from the Children’s Bureau. Its intent is to address the aging-out crisis.
C.A.R.E is a 12-week, mentoring intervention designed to address social support needs of youth preparing to age out of foster care. It stresses facilitating and strengthening naturally occurring relationships and supporting the development of growth-fostering relationships with self-selected, natural mentors (i.e., helpful, adult nonparents from within the youth’s social network).
The goals of C.A.R.E are to produce significant improvements for foster youth in the following:
- noncognitive abilities (including grit, resilience, future expectations and emotion regulation and self-control),
- prosocial development (including sense of school membership, life skills, peer relationships, mental health and nonengagement in behaviors posing health risks) and
- future outcomes of educational achievement (including completion of a high-school degree or GED, employment).
C.A.R.E. is intended for agencies interested in bringing a relationship-focused, trauma-informed and natural, mentoring intervention to the young people aging out of care in their communities.
A Master’s-level social worker referred to as an “interventionist” meets individually with youth participants in an effort to identify an appropriate natural mentor for each of them. The interventionist screens and approves the natural mentors and provides the mentors with a trauma-informed training to help them better understand adolescent development, the role of trauma and loss in the lives of youth in foster care, the importance of self-care and the expectations associated with being a natural mentor. During the 12-week intervention period, the interventionist meets weekly with the dyads to support the relationships and facilitates separate support groups for the youths and natural mentors participating in C.A.R.E. The natural mentors also meet weekly in the community with their youth mentees to work on life-skill development.
A Master’s-level social worker or Master’s-level professional in a related field is required to administer the program. A MSW interventionist and a MSW program coordinator per 15 youths are needed to implement this program. A manual is available for purchase for $46.99 at https://www.amazon.com that articulates the theory and research that support C.A.R.E. and describes how to deliver this program. There is training available that can be obtained from Dr. Johanna Greeson, the developer of C.A.R.E. There are fidelity measures available to users at no cost.