Date of Conferral





Human Services


Jackie Jones-Cook


AbstractOver 20,000 young adults are released from state care annually and 100,000 young adults are released from justice centers. Past studies have revealed that young adults 18-24 years of age transitioning out of care are not prepared for independent living and may face many adversities. The problem is that young adults have difficulties finding permanent housing once emancipated from state care, their biological homes, or juvenile justice centers. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of young adults 18-24 years of age and how their experiences and life skills helped on their journey to acquire permanent housing. The theoretical foundation was Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory. The research design was a purposive inductive design that used a generic qualitative inquiry tradition and semi-structured interviews. Eight participants were recruited via online postings and snowball sampling. I then used Microsoft word find to identify recurring or similarity of data. I also used the framework method analysis that employs a matrix to help organize and identify patterns, and similarities. Additionally, the data was narrowed down again and grouped in themes. Five main themes emerged: (a) living on a couch or in a car is not homelessness; (b) the Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) is not used or understood but some services are used; (c) life skills, education, vocational training are lacking; (d) health, healthcare, and safety are not considerations; and (d) social and personal relationships lack maturity and development. Data also revealed important implications for practice and social change. The themes that were focused on included young adults’ observations, perceptions, and experiences in moving without and within state programs and their success and failures.