Fostering resilience: exploring former foster children' s narratives FOSTERING RESILIENCE: EXPLORING FORMER FOSTER CHILDREN'S NARRATIVES

Lindsey Juhl, Jean Thomas, Lindsey Juhl, Jean Thomas, Michelle Campo, Elana Buch, Rachel Mclaren, Keli Steuber
2015 unpublished
ii To the people with whom we share stories, who make our lives meaningful. iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am eternally grateful to the individuals who shared their foster care-related experiences with me. Thank you for allowing me to look in upon your stories and for sharing with me laughter, tears, ups, downs, loving relationships, and embarrassing moments. I carry immense respect for you as strong, caring, and hilarious individuals, and I am better for having met you. Truly, I cannot thank you enough
more » ... for taking the time and energy to talk with me. A note on pseudonyms: A number of you asked for a "cool" name; as it turns out, I have no idea what that entails. I want you to know that I tried though, and at the very least, the names in this manuscript are unique. I hope that is satisfactory. I also offer huge thanks to everyone who helped me to locate participants, sending people my way. Without your assistance, this project would not have come to fruition. I am also forever indebted to my doctoral committee of badass academic women, and I will do my best to model your intelligence, confidence, dedication, and compassion as I move ahead in my own career. I could not have completed my degree without each of you supporting me. Thank you all for sharing knowledge, encouragement, and precious time with me throughout my years at Iowa. You have motivated me to continually strive to be a more thoughtful and courageous academic and citizen. Leslie Baxter, doctoral advisor extraordinaire, from signing up for your Family Communication seminar my first semester of graduate school to sitting in on your Remaking Family Communicatively seminar while finishing my dissertation, your work has changed me. It probably goes without saying that I am smarter because of our interactions, but I am also a better writer, researcher, teacher, and mentor from directly witnessing your excellence in all of these roles. Keli Steuber, I could not have had a better MA advisor when I came to Iowa. Thank you for always taking time to figure out what I needed to do as a graduate student; I know that it cannot have been easy that first year to work with someone who entered a PhD program with a BA and little sense of what she was getting herself into. Nonetheless, you offered ongoing guidance and support, brought me onto a research project my very first year at Iowa, iv mitigated my job market panic four (and then five) years later, and even let me hang out with Charlie (he's such a good boy!) along the way. Shelly Campo, thank you for introducing me to the wonderful world of health communication, providing clear and detailed feedback on my projects and my life (comfy interview shoes forever!), and for regularly asking, "How are you doing?" in a way that conveyed your genuine care for my wellbeing. Rachel McLaren, thank you for engaging my propensity to explore weird topics that were, in retrospect, often only tangentially related to your classes, not to mention my tendency to write super-long sentences with unnecessary parentheses (wait, am