Youth in transition to adulthood face enormous challenges establishing independence and self-sufficiency. This is especially true for youth being emancipated from the foster care system, those who are former foster youth and/or homeless/runaway youth between the ages of 18 and 24. They lack the “bundle” of financial, housing, emotional, and counseling/advising support typically provided by parents to their children during this early stage of adulthood. Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) was developed in the early 1980s by deShazer, Berg, and Colleagues, at the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee (deShazer et al., 1986). This strengths-based approach emphasizes constructing solutions rather than resolving problems. The primary goal is to enable individuals to find solutions to their problems, which is accomplished through helping the individual to imagine how he or she would like things to be different and what it will take to make that happen. A SFBT-based, small group intervention may be helpful for youth in transition for several reasons. First, the shifting of focus from problems and deficits to solutions and existing skills may be particularly helpful to young adults who experienced and survived through times of great difficulty as youth to envision a brighter, more positive and hopeful future. Second, the relatively simpler, shorter-term, and less costly nature of this work, when compared to other therapeutic approaches or interventions, offer likely greater feasibility and accessibility among the large number of youth in transition needing assistance/support. Finally, there is a sizeable published literature on SFBT (e.g., literature reviews by Gingerich & Eisengart, 2000; Kim, 2008) to help inform the development of a “youth in transition” pilot intervention and to compare the findings of such a pilot study to advance the state of knowledge within this the field of SFBT and within the independent living/aftercare services and supports specialty area of child welfare. The Ohio Youth in Transition (OYIT) Alumni Support and Assistance (ASAP) Solution Focused Intervention Pilot project aims to develop and test a solution-focused group intervention for these youth.
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