Building Co-Regulation Capacity to Support Positive Development for Youth with Foster Care Experience

Co-regulation is the process by which caring adults nurture positive youth development through three key domains: Caring, Consistent, & Responsive Relationships; Co-Creation of Supportive Environments; and Intentional and Developmentally-Informed Day-to-Day Interactions. This project builds on a body of work that describes how co-regulation can be used in practice to promote self-regulation, health, and well-being for youth.

Older youth in or transitioning out of foster care often experience significant challenges to self-regulation that can make it more difficult for them to successfully transition to adulthood. Institutional challenges within the child welfare system, such as placement instability, can also inhibit youths’ positive development. Co-regulation approaches are aligned with current efforts within the child welfare system to support older youth, including normalcy, prudent parenting, and relational permanency, as well as trauma-informed care (TIC).

This project aims to identify opportunities for building co-regulation for youth in foster care. Project components consist of a report and four tip sheets, linked below. The report addresses the gaps in current research on co-regulation, including a lack of effective self-regulation interventions for adolescents, and particularly for youth who have experienced an accumulation of acute and chronic stressors. The four tip sheets, cumulatively, create a resource to support caring adults and practitioners in integrating co-regulation actions into their day-to-day interactions with older youth and young adults.


Building Co-Regulation Capacity to Support Positive Development for Youth with Foster Care Experience (Report)

A Co-Regulation How-To Guide Series for Adults Supporting Older Youth with Foster Care Experience:

Co-Regulation as a Support for Older Adolescents in the Context of Foster Care:  A Scoping Review of the Literature (Journal Article)

For more information

Contact Hannah Rackers at or Karin Malm at