This paper from Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative examines new research findings, with a particular focus on the neuroscientific findings about adolescent brain development. It considers the implications for developmentally appropriate child welfare practice with young people in foster care, taking into account their experiences of trauma and loss. It first describes the characteristics and needs of the older youth and young adults who comprise a significant portion of the foster care population. Second, it discusses the specific aspects of the developmental knowledge base that relate to this older foster care population. Third, it provides recommendations that can guide child welfare agencies and others in serving older youth and young adults in foster care in ways that are specifically tailored to their developmental status and needs. Finally, it poses questions for the child welfare field that are designed to promote critical conversations about developing, implementing, and evaluating developmentally appropriate practices for young people in foster care. (2011)
The Adolescent Brain: New Research and its Implications for Youth Transitioning from Foster Care