Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Janee Both-Gragg

Committee Members

Philip Mirci

Ronald Morgan


education; social sciences; banking education; educational justice; emancipated foster youth; foster youth; girls; self-adovcacy; self-determination; social justice


Counseling | Educational Leadership


Emancipated foster youth must have real world opportunities to learn to become participating citizens through self-advocacy to create educational justice. Emancipation for foster youth occurs between the ages of 18–22 and it is a state's responsibility to provide continuous support through direct instruction in self-advocacy. The aim of states and social service agencies should be to change our present practice of support for emancipated foster youth and infuse direct instruction of self-advocacy skills teaching youth, in school settings, to advocate their needs and prepare them for transition to adulthood. The Nations Children explores self-advocacy as an educational justice issue for emancipated foster youth allowing youth to rise beyond marginalization and begin to direct their own lives. This research uses case study methodology to focus on three emancipated foster youth and their perceptions regarding their preparation to act as self-advocates. The study demonstrates how successful emancipation and transition to adulthood are closely tied to self-advocacy as foster youth learn processes of inquiry through reflection and dialogue. Similarly, the study demonstrates the need to teach self-advocacy in schools as a means to shift power from the system to the individual, allowing foster youth to choose how they live and are supported in ways that facilitate their preferences.


ISBN: 9781124385303