Prioritizing a Continuum of Care for Older Orphan Populations: A Qualitative Study from Two Transitional Centers in Armenia

George S. Yacoubian, Jr., Lena Bardakjian


Previous research in residential childcare institutions (RCI) has focused on youth under the age of eighteen. While reaching the age of majority typically signals the end of compulsory childhood institutionalization, age qualifications may deny ministration to young adults whose adolescence was marked by poverty, trauma, violence, or emotional deprivation. To investigate the need for a seamless transition into young adulthood, we interviewed 12 female residents housed in two “transitional centers” (TC) in Armenia. The respondents, while eager for emotional and fiscal autonomy, perceived their previous RCI as integral to their emotional development and thus recognized the need for ancillary care to prepare them for independent living. These findings suggest that Armenia’s TC offer a critical bridge between adolescence and adulthood, providing an environment within which socially vulnerable young adults can prepare for emotional, financial, and intellectual independence. Countries with significant orphan populations should consider integrating a TC component into their continuum of care model to assure that their most vulnerable children populations receive support throughout young adulthood.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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