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Rueda -

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Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work





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Adolescent mothers, queer, and foster youth are all groups at heightened vulnerability for teen dating violence victimization. It is unknown how mothers in residential foster care perceive and experience violence within same-sex relationships. Literature suggests, however, that violence within these contexts may be met by minimization and even denial on behalf of practitioners (e.g., social workers) who may not have a comprehensive understanding of how to best serve queer clients, especially clients who may not be automatically perceived as queer (e.g., adolescent mothers). The present study utilized a mixed qualitative methodological approach to triangulate the perspectives of program staff (n = 12) who worked at a residential foster care facility through individual interviews with the views and experiences of adolescent mother residents (n = 13) through two focus groups. By taking a queer theoretical perspective, this study interpreted the fluid sexual performativity and viewpoints concerning violence victimization among foster care mothers within the context of a heteronormative service provision model. Specifically, we found that the meaning of relationships between mothers was minimized and violence between same-sex dating partners was interpreted as normative peer conflict. Such findings run contrary to youths’ experiences and perspectives, which holds important ramifications for practitioner–client interaction and service delivery.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Sage in Affilia on [November 1, 2017], available online:

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