Assessing life skills of adolescents in out-of-home care
Recent federal legislation in the United States requires that the life skills competencies for all youths aged 16 to 19 in out-of-home care be assessed. The philosophy behind this initiative is that life skills deficiencies will be identified and remedied before emancipation from care. Unfortunately, many youths who leave care at that time are unprepared for successful independent living and run a greater risk of homelessness, unemployment and becoming dependent on public assistance than their peers in the general population.
This article discusses the need for and development of the Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment (ACLSA). The ACLSA, completed by both youths and their primary caregivers, is designed to assess life skills thought to be necessary for living successfully in the community upon emancipation from out-of-home care. The results of a field test involving over 200 youths and their caregivers in the United States are presented. The ACLSA was found to be useful for assessing child and adolescent life skills.
Erratum on p.93 in Vol.3, 98/1: the name of Dorothy Ansell, M.S.W., was unintentionally left out of the author string of the article.