Research consistently reports negative outcomes for children who “age out” of the child welfare system. This study answers the question, “Why do some children who age out of foster care in British Columbia have negative outcomes in adulthood?” by drawing on development and transition theories. Attachment theory, adolescent development theory and life-course theory informed the selection of independent variables and provided the conditions for the desired state of care in the gap analysis. Two representative case constructs were created—one youth who successfully transitioned out of care and one who did not. An analysis of outcome data suggests that mental health, transition planning and independent life skills are related to the successful transition out of care. The policy evaluation resulted in the recommendation of all three policy alternatives. Although this may be costly to the MCFD, this up-front investment can result in cost efficiencies for the Government of British Columbia.
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