This study intends to break two vicious cycles: intergenerational teenage pregnancy and foster care among highly vulnerable families of color and their children. Entry into foster care disproportionately affects young women of color—Latinas and African-American and a recent study documented that there were 18 pregnant and 24 parenting young women in foster care in Fresno County. There is scant research describing the deep internal processes of healing and transformation that might lead to positive outcomes among this population.
These young mothers will be key participants in this study – having lived in foster care most of their lives, experiencing the chaotic upheaval of repeated new placements. Not only have they failed to bond with their parents in early childhood, they have never bonded to a cultural or racial heritage that can provide a sense of belonging as a part of a community or group. In an effort to restore justice and heal wounds, this project proposes using a process of storytelling combined with discourse analysis. Project researchers will provide historical and cultural knowledge of collective racial histories, as the young women develop their own research questions, theories and discoveries as they transform their lives and heal racially, spiritually and emotionally.