Untreated depression and emotional dysregulation among foster alumni contributes to higher rates of homelessness, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, and imprisonment. The purpose of the HEAR Network is to develop research that targets foster alumni and to disseminate that research in order to raise awareness of these issues. In Tier III, we will develop a rigorous study to compare two interventions to treat depression and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder for young adults who have been in the foster care system. We will produce a proposal suitable for submission to PCORI as well as to several foundations that support this population.
Tier I funding supported a needs assessment that included 19 key informant interviews with a diverse group of former foster youth. Interview results were used to develop and rank order a list of potential research questions. Tier II supported the group in refining those questions, including inviting experts to help assess feasibility and knowledge gaps. We focused on strengthening our partnerships by producing a governance document and communication plan. Tier III will continue these efforts by helping us work with experts to produce a fully developed PCORI application.