Please note that there are two different conference venues:
June 14/15 - Century City Conference Centre
June 16 - Kirstenbosch Conference Centre (transportation available)
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Thursday, June 15 • 08:00 - 09:30
Youth in Care - Gerald Jacobs, Myrna McNitt

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Youth in Care

Abstract #252
Title: Young people moving out and moving on: What it takes to support young people leaving care?
 Gerald Jacobs (Mamelani Projects, South Africa)
Co-Author: Monika Edwards
Mamelani Projects is a non-profit organisation based in Cape Town, South Africa and has been working in the field of youth leaving residential care for over a decade.  Our aim has been to strengthen interventions and support better outcomes for young care-leavers.
Methods: Initially our programme supported young people through life skills and access to resources, These supports are important in assisting young people to move through their transitions, however, it was young people’s ability to overcome adversity that caught our attention. This led us to collectively explore what approach contributes to resilience along the care-leaving journey. We have adopted a strengths-based approach that nurtures young people’s strengths, relationships and networks of support, as well as builds on existing internal and external assets. Working in this way has had a positive impact on the way in which young people move through these transitions.
Findings: We highlight practice principles that lie at the heart of our work, contributing to nurturing resilience in young people. We share how we have developed a richer understanding of the individualised, culturally and ecologically specific ways in which young people “practice” resilience, and highlight protective factors contributing to better outcomes.

Abstract #31
Title: Who Am I? Understanding and Promoting Resilience and Social Identity in Foster Children
Myrna McNitt (International Foster Care Organization, USA)
Co-Authors: Leticia Villarreal Sosa, Jill M Worrall
Foster children often have problems of social relationships and in the development of social identity. The goal of foster care is for the child to develop an integrated, resilient sense of self and the ability to navigate their various social identities recognizing the use of inclusive care and kinship networks.
Methods: This paper will draw from independent qualitative research of Worrall, examining the use of kinship care in New Zealand and Villarreal Sosa's research on social identity. The paper also uses secondary analysis of research on social identity, foster care, kinship care, inclusive practices, and resilience conducted by the authors. In addition the bridge between research and applied social work practice is discussed, as each of the authors are clinically trained and have practiced in child protection.
Findings: Resilience in foster children is promoted by the use of inclusive practices that recognize the stress of placement and the child's need to have access to kinship systems which help the child achieve a congruent identity. This must be translated into practice information for social workers engaged in direct practice. 

avatar for Gerald Jacobs

Gerald Jacobs

Program Manager, Mamelani Projects
Gerald Jacobs is the Program Manager at Mamelani Projects in Cape Town, South Africa. The program, advocates for the needs of youth transitioning from alternative care, supports local institutions by strengthening their transitional support services and walks alongside youth as they... Read More →

Myrna McNitt

International Foster Care Organization & Lake Michigan College
Myrna is on the Board of the International Foster Care Organization and chairs its Training & Development Committee. She travels extensively and has earned an international reputation for the quality of her teaching and training. Work experience includes specialized foster care in... Read More →

Thursday June 15, 2017 08:00 - 09:30 SAST
Room 07 Century City Conference Centre

Attendees (4)