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Background: Foster youth are children under 21 years old who have been removed from their homes due to neglect or abuse and are susceptible to early adversity and trauma (Alternative Family Services, n.d.; AOTA, 2017). Financial literacy is the knowledge and skills to take control of finances (National Financial Educators Council, n.d.). In the foster care setting, occupational therapists (OTs) provide client-centered care that traditionally focuses on transitional life skills, such as seeking employment (American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2017).

Problem/Purpose: The lack of resources for foster youth to gain financial literacy skills leads to a disadvantage in establishing consumer skills. The purpose of this project was to conduct a research study on current financial literacy education for foster youth and uncover how OTs can positively contribute to financial literacy education in this population.

Methods: The preliminary findings involved a mixed-methods research approach. An electronic survey and an optional follow-up interview were used for data collection. The participants for this study were from four different populations in the foster care community; former foster youth, former or current case managers/social workers, former or current foster parents, and former or current OTs who have worked with foster youth.

Results: The preliminary findings showed many believe foster parents should lead in teaching financial literacy to foster youth; however, OTs and case managers/social workers were also highly ranked. Four preliminary codes were identified during the preliminary data analysis: “role constraints”, “provider supports”, “importance of financial literacy”, and “teaching resources”.

Publication Date

Summer 8-9-2023


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


Occupational Therapy, OT, Foster Care, Mixed Methods Study, Financial Literacy Education, Financial Literacy, Foster Youth, Money Management, Role

Medical Subject Headings

Foster Youth, Occupational Therapy, Financial Management, Adolescent, Foster Home Care, Role


Finance | Finance and Financial Management | Occupational Therapy | Social Work


Poster presented at the Summer 2023 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on August 2-9, 2023.

Exploring Occupational Therapy’s Role in Foster Care: A Mixed Methods Study on Financial Literacy Education for Foster Youth