RESEARCH AND POLICY BRIEF

RAISING THE BAR

Building system- and provider-level evidence to drive equitable education and employment outcomes for youth in extended foster care

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RAISING THE BAR

Building system- and provider-level evidence to drive equitable education and employment outcomes for youth in extended foster care

Download Report
Sign Up for Updates

Armed with a 20+ year history of providing services and support to transition age foster youth, First Place for Youth is now using precision analytics and data science to make new predictions about how we better serve this vulnerable population in the United States. This research brief reflects our commitment and our passion for driving a more equitable foster-care system.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Youth who exit foster care at 18 years old are at tremendous risk for financial & life-altering hardships.
  • Youth who engage in extended care have reduced rates of homelessness, unemployment, and imprisonment.
  • However, evidence is lacking on how extended care services aid in education goals & an ability to earn a living wage.
  • Successful self-sufficiency timelines in extended care range from 1.5-5.5 years.
  • This wide range suggests youth would benefit from a more personalized approach with customized milestones & goals.
  • First Place build the Youth Success Roadmap Tool to leverage historical data & build personalized roadmaps.
  • When one participant group received “what works,” their chances of earning a living- wage appeared to rise from 20% to 80%.
  • Most significant post-care living-wage predictors: age at entry, number of prior placements, and history of group care.
  • Top High Impact Goals Identified: career progress, good household maintenance, relationship stability, and public assistance.
  • Top High Impact Services Identified: length of stay, good tenancy, and engagement with care manager and employment specialists.
  • Youth who exit foster care at 18 years old are at tremendous risk for financial & life-altering hardships.
  • Youth who engage in extended care have reduced rates of homelessness, unemployment, and imprisonment.
  • However, evidence is lacking on how extended care services aid in education goals & an ability to earn a living wage.
  • Successful self-sufficiency timelines in extended care range from 1.5-5.5 years.
  • This wide range suggests youth would benefit from a more personalized approach with customized milestones & goals.
  • First Place build the Youth Success Roadmap Tool to leverage historical data & build personalized roadmaps.
  • When one participant group received “what works,” their chances of earning a living- wage appeared to rise from 20% to 80%.
  • Most significant post-care living-wage predictors: age at entry, number of prior placements, and history of group care.
  • Top High Impact Goals Identified: career progress, good household maintenance, relationship stability, and public assistance.
  • Top High Impact Services Identified: length of stay, good tenancy, and engagement with care manager and employment specialists.

WHY THIS MATTERS

FOR YOUTH AND ORGANIZATIONS IN FOSTER CARE

The wealth of historical data we possess – and continue to collect – can help us solve the puzzle, ensuring these youth have a fair and equitable shot as they head into adulthood.

FOR NONPROFITS IN GENERAL

Tech companies have been using data to personalize experiences for decades. Nonprofits have a responsibility to raise the bar to improve outcomes for transition-age youth and all the populations we serve.

RAISING THE BAR WEBINAR SERIES

FEATURING

Dr. Erika Van Buren
Vice President of Learning, Evaluation & Strategic Impact
First Place for Youth

Jane Schroeder, JD
Director of Public Policy
First Place for Youth

DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED

YES! I want to be alerted when registration opens.

Raising the Bar Updates

THE REALITY OF FOSTER LIFE AT 18

25,000

youth age out of
foster care each year

40%

of these youth will
experience homelessness
by age 19

95%

will not graduate
from college

With every year of extended care, we improve the long-term odds of success for foster youth. We believe in honoring the unique history of each individual and using our data to craft customized service & support plans that really work for them.

“When I look at the future of our organization, I see First Place for Youth as connective tissue between policy, technology and improved outcomes for foster youth across the United States.”

DR. ERIKA VAN BUREN, VICE PRESIDENT OF LEARNING, EVALUATION & STRATEGIC IMPACT AT FIRST PLACE FOR YOUTH

“When I look at the future of our organization, I see First Place for Youth as connective tissue between policy, technology and improved outcomes for foster youth across the United States.”

DR. ERIKA VAN BUREN, VICE PRESIDENT OF LEARNING, EVALUATION & STRATEGIC IMPACT AT FIRST PLACE FOR YOUTH

INVEST IN EXTENDED FOSTER CARE WITH A FOCUS ON EDUCATION-TO-EMPLOYMENT SERVICES AND GOALS

RECOMMENDATION ONE

A Renewed Education-to-Employment Focus and Investments in Extended Foster Care

Open the data gates and empower program improvement

Implement postsecondary education (PSE) readiness coaching

Strengthen and fund education and employment requirements for THP-NMP programs

Remove barriers to WIOA for foster youth

RECOMMENDATION TWO

Individualize Placement Decisions and Prolong the Extended Service Care Runway

Use data to drive individualized and equitable service delivery

Increase THP-NMD capacity

Increase capacity and fiscal sustainability of THP-Plus program

and more…

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