Supporting youth transitioning from state care into adulthood in Illinois and Catalonia: Lessons from a cross-national comparison

Laura Arnau-Sabatés, Amy Dworsky, Josefina Sala-Roca, Mark E. Courtney - Children and Youth Services Review


This cross-national study compares and contrasts how two states- one in the U.S. (Illinois) and one in Spain (Catalonia)—support care leavers as they transition into adulthood. Twenty-seven individuals from NGOs and public agencies that provide services to care leavers were interviewed. Although both states are seen as leaders in the development of policies and in the provision of services that support care leavers within their national contexts, important differences exist in the types of support available to care leavers and the approach taken to provide those supports. Some of these differences reflect differences in cultural or contextual factors. The similarities and differences between the two systems reveal the strengths and weaknesses of each and offer a unique opportunity for child welfare professionals, policy-makers, and researchers to rethink the ways in which care leavers are supported.