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Mentorship and Children in Foster Care: Providing Opportunities for a Bright Future Annotated Bibliography Jessaline Fynbo 103544681

Ahrens, K. R., DuBois, D. L., Richardson, L. P., Fan, M. Y., & Lozano, P. (2008). Youth in foster care with adult mentors during adolescence have improved adult outcomes. Pediatrics, 121(2), 246-252. In this article, the authors research the positive effects that mentoring has on adolescents. They explore the interests of the public and private sector to provide mentorship for foster children and also focus in on the reasons why mentees may be hesitant to open up to a mentor due to vulnerability from past experiences. This study discusses the benefits of a longer mentoring period and the detriments to a short mentoring period. Something that is questionable about this article is the fact that it admits that there are several limitations of the study. However, the unique part about this study is the fact that it mentions that some youth believed that their foster parent was their mentor. This is interesting, as other articles have not mentioned foster youth developing a strong mentor-mentee relationship with their foster parent. Another beneficial point of this article is that there are several statistics regarding education, employment, well-being, health, and behaviors. This article will be beneficial in arguing why mentoring for foster care youth is successful especially when discussing the fact that longer mentorship periods benefit mentees much better than shorter periods. Greeson, J. K., & Bowen, N. K. (2008). She holds my hand: The experiences of foster youth with their natural mentors. Children and Youth Services Review, 30(10), 1178-1188. It is well known that many youth in foster care are forced to become adults and support themselves the day that they turn 18 years old. Greeson and Bowen emphasize this in Improving Youth Mentoring Interventions through Research-Based Practice as a means to support the reasons why mentoring is beneficial to youth in foster care. Rhodes discusses natural and programmatic mentors and how they help youth to grow and become well-off young adults. There is discussion of how a mentor can improve psychological outcomes (1179) and how foster youth define their mentor relationships (1179). Greeson and Bowen then go into discussing the results of their research which include the different types of support mentors provide, how mentees have changed, how mentees envision their future and how the mentees view foster care after being mentored. This article provides a lot of information regarding the specific benefits that mentees got from being mentored. What was unique about this article was how it provided a section explaining what they thought about foster care. This will assist in developing a point in the ways in how foster youth saw foster care pre-and-post mentorship; this will prove in more depth how mentorship is beneficial for children in foster care.

Massinga, R., & Pecora, P. J. (2004). Providing better opportunities for older children in the child welfare system. The Future of Children, 14(1) 151-173. In their article Providing Better Opportunities for Older Children in the Child Welfare System, Massinga and Pecora focus much of their research on strategies to prepare children in foster care for a bright and successful future. While they discuss developmental needs and their outcomes for children in foster care, as well as governmental policies to support youths in foster care, they also discuss mentoring as a successful program for children in foster care to take part in. This article is relevant to studying mentoring programs for children in foster care as it studies the ways in how mentoring assisted these youth in building towards a positive future; this article proves that mentoring is vital for youths in foster care to have a successful future. This article leads to the specific ways that mentoring achieves all of the developmental needs that Massinga and Pecora claim that foster youth need one of which including life skills training which is exactly what mentors provide to their mentees. This article also strengthens its research by using testimonies from children who were in foster care to provide their feedback on how mentoring helped them. This article could be criticized in the aspect that it did not express what types of activities the mentors engaged in with their mentees; the article only discusses the outcomes of mentorship and how it benefitted youth in foster care. Nonetheless, this article proves why it is vital for youth in the welfare system to participate in a mentorship program and gives the exact ways that mentoring benefits those youth, which will assist me in proving why youth in foster care should participate in a mentorship program. Mech, E. V., Pryde, M. J. A., & Rycraft, J. R. (1995). Mentors for adolescents in foster care. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 12(4), 317-328. As most would assume, adolescents in foster care are extremely vulnerable and often become subject to things that adolescents living in a stable home would not dream of experiencing. This article begins stating the different ways adolescents who are in foster care are vulnerable and also explains why vulnerability is the case. Next, the article reports on a study that the authors conducted regarding the trends in mentorship programs. The study delves into the process of mentoring programs and then concludes with how a mentor-mentee program sincerely helps youth in foster care. This article is very strong in the way that it was organized by reasons for the research, the focus on the research, the process of the research study they were conducting and concluding their findings. This is a very beneficial article when studying mentorship in the United States as the research regurgitated in the article was conducted through 29 mentor programs located in 15 states (320); although it does not cover all of the states within the United States, it covers multiple states which is important when looking at this type of information. This article could have been made stronger if it had published quotations from mentors or mentees that they had studied; however, it has a myriad of essential information that will be used in my research paper and will be favorable in explaining how different mentorship programs for foster youth work.

Osterling, K. L., & Hines, A. M. (2006). Mentoring adolescent foster youth: promoting resilience during developmental transitions. Child & Family Social Work, 11(3), 242-253. As this article argues, mentoring is extremely beneficial to adolescent foster youth, especially while in the stages of growing up. Osterling and Hines conduct research to analyze how mentoring has benefitted foster youth; they study an incredible variety of demographics including different races, types of homes, how many adopted or birth parents the child has, educational status and more. They conduct the study over two years and then compare the results between the years. Osterling and Hines focus specifically in on the changes the mentor made, which include but are not limited to how the mentee changed over their time with the mentor, and how prepared a mentee would be for independent living. This article explores many different benefits a foster child would obtain from working with a mentor; this will benefit my research paper as I will be able to diversify the types of foster children studied as well as give substantial reasoning as to why mentorship is beneficial to youth in foster care. While the article was published seven years ago, it would be interesting to see a follow-up study of the article on the ten-year anniversary of the publishing year to see whether there were any changes within the past ten years. Elsewhere, there is no room for criticism about this article as it has a myriad of information and valid research results. Spencer, R., Collins, M. E., Ward, R., & Smashnaya, S. (2010). Mentoring for young people leaving foster care: Promise and potential pitfalls. Social Work, 55(3), 225-234. This article researches mentoring programs for youth in foster care in much depth. The article discusses the needs of youths, discusses different mentoring programs such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America and Mentoring USA, touches on research that has been conducted regarding mentoring programs and digs into the depths of how mentoring helps children in foster care. This includes the duration of the programs, how consistent they are, the emotional connections between the mentor and mentee, explains the benefits and downfalls of program administration and even criticizes mentorship in the sense that for foster youth, it can sometimes be a bad idea and mentors need to take an extremely sensitive and understanding approach when being with their mentees. This article is extremely strong, as it has covered many different aspects of mentoring foster youth and even criticizes mentorship. After criticizing it, the article discusses the ways that mentors can be successful as long as they mentor the right way. The only downfall of this article is the fact that much of the research had been done in the United States. This article could have been stronger if it had discussed mentorship programs within Canada and European countries. While it mentions a mentorship program in the United Kingdom, it only touches on the UK briefly which does not give a lot of diversity to the article. I believe that this article will be extremely beneficial to my research paper as it gives a vast amount of information regarding the needs of foster youth, the approaches that mentors should take when being with their

mentees, and discusses when mentorship has been known to be successful and beneficial to youth in foster care.