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Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Tricia Browne-Ferrigno


Research demonstrates the transition for aging-out foster youth evidences they are not equipped with the necessary tools to live a self-sufficient adult life. Many children who age-out of the foster system have encountered trauma at multiple levels. Sunrise Children’s Services is an agency in Kentucky committed to changing negative outcomes for this population of individuals.

The optimum goal for children and youth is for them to grow up within their biological family where they receive guidance and support as they mature. For some individuals that is not an option, and the government along with agencies like Sunrise are focused on helping these individuals be successful and productive human beings once they reach adulthood. Turning 18 years old is tragically problematic for many adolescents because one’s chronological age does not automatically endow adulthood on an individual.

Through this research, I sought to understand the proclivities of emerging emancipated youth who choose to participate in Sunrise’s Independent Living Program and to discover reasons why some of their peers choose not to participate. This understanding helped guide development of recruitment materials intended to inform and inspire aging out clients to receive benefits that include being a participant in Independent Living.

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