Johanna Greeson

A Presentation by Johanna Greeson, PhD

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Each year roughly one in ten youth exiting foster care does so without a legally binding, permanent connection with a caring adult, and are at high risk for many adverse outcomes during the transition to adulthood. Research indicates that a caring adult, like a natural mentor, may serve protectively. However, child welfare programming for foster youth continues to prioritize independence over relational connectedness. This presentation will: (1) advocate for reconceptualization of services for foster youth from independent living to interdependent living, (2) present a novel natural mentoring intervention that promotes social support among foster youth, called C.A.R.E. (Caring Adults ‘R’ Everywhere), and (3) highlight policy changes that would support interdependent living for foster youth.

Dr. Greeson is passionate about reforming the child welfare system, using research to build better futures for youth who age out of foster care, and realizing the power of connections to caring adults for all vulnerable youth. Her research agenda is resiliency focused and based in the strengths and virtues that enable foster youth to not only survive, but thrive. Following receiving her PhD in social work from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2009 and completing a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, Dr. Greeson joined the standing faculty at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice as an Assistant Professor in 2012.

Papers by Dr. Greeson

Foster Youth and Social Support: The First RCT of Independent Living Services

Child Welfare Professionals’ Attitudes and Beliefs About Child Welfare-Based Natural Mentoring for Older Youth in Foster Care

It’s good to know that you got somebody that’s not going anywhere: Attitudes and beliefs of older youth in foster care about child welfare-based natural mentoring

Foster Youth and the Transition to Adulthood : The Theoretical and Conceptual Basis for Natural Mentoring

Natural mentoring among older youth in and aging out of foster care: A systematic review