Anew treatment manual by Johanna Greeson, a leading child welfare scholar at Penn, provides child welfare professionals and organizations with the vision and tools they need to facilitate the development of growth-fostering relationships between the youth and adults in their lives who could serve as natural mentors. It is titled “C.A.R.E.: A Natural Mentoring Intervention for Older Youth in Foster Care.”
Each year, 20,000 young adults aged 18-21 “age out” of the foster care system, often without the skills or support systems needed to navigate living independently. C.A.R.E. is a 12-week, research-informed intervention designed to replace independent living with an interdependent model. C.A.R.E. utilizes the power of connection through natural mentoring and advances a new paradigm in child welfare practice, acknowledging that all youth require independent living skills and lifelong connections to caring adults.
Throughout this comprehensive, empirically supported guide, Greeson, associate professor at the School of Social Policy & Practice and faculty director of The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice, & Research, provides practical advice on how to train and effectively engage natural mentors, as well as how to help cultivate nurturing relationships between youth in care and their natural mentors. C.A.R.E. leverages youth’s pre-existing social networks to identify adults who can be natural mentors. Youth are empowered in this process because C.A.R.E. prioritizes the youth’s preference for which adults will take on the role of natural mentor.
Read more at SP2 News.