Growing financial assets for foster youths: Expanded child welfare responsibilities, policy conflict, and caseworker role tension

Clark M. Peters, Margaret Sherraden, Ann Marie Kuchinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


The study reported in this article explores the role child welfare workers play in elevating the financial capability (FC) of foster youths transitioning to adulthood. It draws on an examination of Opportunity Passport, a component of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, which operates across the United States. The authors held in-depth, structured interviews with eight staff and 38 current and former foster youths age 18 years and older in four sites across three states. Findings indicate that (a) program participants require professional financial assistance that is beyond the role of the traditional child welfare caseworker; (b) caseworkers who address FC in young adults face uncertainty in their roles; and (c) broader policies relevant to young adults transitioning to adulthood exhibit tension, if not conflict, regarding enhancing FC. The authors highlight the importance of expanding the role of caseworkers to incorporate elements of FC in serving the needs of foster youths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-348
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Work (United States)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016



  • aging out
  • asset development
  • financial capability
  • foster care
  • individual development accounts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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