Occupational Therapy Program Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (Dr.OT)

Copyright Statement

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.


College of Health Care Sciences – Occupational Therapy Department


Mariana D'Amico

Second Advisor

Husney Amerih

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Purpose: This examination of stakeholder perceptions on transitioned foster youth work outcomes is a crucial step to identify service strengths and barriers, characteristics of successful/unsuccessful outcomes, and opportunities for occupational therapy collaboration in San Antonio, Texas.

Method: A mixed-methods approach identified perceptions from two groups of stakeholders. Group I included transitionedfoster youth ages 18–24, and group II involved public/private agency professionals working with youth. Small sample sizes prevented traditional statistical analysis, but the Excel VARA (variance) statistical function analyzed numerical spread combinations from collected data, thus providing quantitative analysis.

Results: Participants confirmed they had not completed a similar survey on stakeholder perceptions and that spiritual beliefs provided strength and guidance. Barriers for youth finding/keeping a job were mentorship and homelessness. Respondents agreed that youth: with children have harder times finding/keeping jobs than youth without children, have more days feeling hopeless than hopeful, and identified transportation as one barrier preventing completion of daily routines. Other youth barriers included childcare and affordable housing. Characteristics of successful and unsuccessful work outcomes were identified along with the shared theme of advice.

Conclusion: Occupational therapy practitioners should seek collaborative relationships with community-based agencies to provide services for foster youth and transitioning youth into the workplace. Educational exposure to youth community program engagement, fieldwork placements, and academic tracks in community development are needed along with additional training in marketing, collaboration, entrepreneurship, motivational interviewing, and the IPS model. Occupational therapy can improve youth outcomes by partnering with communities for improved consumer services.


Occupational Therapy


Foster youth, Occupational injustice, Occupational therapy, Transition, Work, Community