Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Social Work

First Advisor

Mary O'Connor


Using an emergent design, this study developed a program approach for young people in the child headed households of Zambia. Phase I dealt with prior ethnography, Phase II focused on independent living services, and Phase III concerned translation to Zambia. A total of 36 participants from Richmond, consisting of 20 Richmond Department of Social Services workers and youth and 16 Africans, were recruited. Three major themes emerged: feasibility, content, and quality. Lessons learned about translational research highlight the need for uniformity in a cultural screen’s composition. This might enhance the richness of perspectives on young people. Lessons for the Department of Social Services include a need to focus on tracking young people exiting services. This might involve exit interviews with young people and guidance with life decisions. There were lessons about decisions regarding local and expert knowledge in the translation process. This often becomes difficult when there are no assurances of participant uniformity. Paying attention to issues of local and expert knowledge would eliminate decision barriers that might arise during the translational process. Implications for social work education suggest that an emphasis on cultural competency might help students at the BSW and MSW levels to become better managers of adolescents. Implications for practice and policy include enhancing access to education and health for all young people. This process might be facilitated by the enactment of polices that highlight education and health for all young people at national and state levels. The following are crucial considerations for practice with young people: recruiting and training appropriate staff, promoting civic education, collaborating with young people, strengthening community involvement, strengthening agency collaboration, and developing targeted services. Implications for further research include: exploring what areas to consider when making a paradigm jump, considering cultural principles as bridges for making that jump, examining the implications for translational research as opposed to diffusion of innovation, determining what types of research samples would eliminate some of the gender issues that emerge with focus groups, recruiting more young people as participants, and conducting a study that focuses on lived experiences of young people.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

November 2008

Included in

Social Work Commons