According to a 2008 Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over 26,000 youth age out of the foster care system each year. Research shows that youth who leave foster care are more likely to drop out of high school, to be unemployed, and to be dependent on public assistance when compared to other youth.
The Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor funded a five-state demonstration project in the states with the highest concentration of youth in foster care (California, Illinois Michigan, New York, and Texas). Casey Family Programs funded the Institute for Educational Leadership, and a series of experts in the field to evaluate a series of demonstration projects focused on foster care transition. One of the most significant findings to emerge from the data is that youth who receive services for more quarters are much more likely to attain a positive outcome than youth who receive the same service for fewer quarters. Additionally, as the number of quarters participants received postsecondary preparation services increases so do the number achieving a postsecondary outcome.
This publication compliments NCWD/Youth’s Guideposts for Success for Youth in Foster Care.