Characteristics and Service Use of Young Adults in Extended Foster Care

Sep 2023 |
Online Library

Extended Foster Care (EFC) in Washington State allows eligible young adults who are dependent at age 18 to receive case management support and placement services through their 21st birthday. This report uses linked administrative data to measure demographic characteristics, prior foster care experiences, support needs, and service connections from ages 17 to 21 for three groups of young adults exiting foster care with different degrees of EFC participation (EFC-Full, EFC-Early Exit, No EFC) and a group of same-age young adults enrolled in Medicaid. Young adults exiting foster care, regardless of duration in EFC, have higher rates of support need indicators compared to the Medicaid group. Results highlight a need to ensure that young adults in and exiting foster care maintain connections to supportive services, such as health care, economic and housing programs, and independent living and transition services. This analysis contributes to a multipart Extended Foster Care systems assessment for the Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

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