Transition to Adulthood: Washington State Foster Youth at Age 17

Jun 2016 |
Online Library
Findings from the 2014 National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) Survey

This study examined self-reported risk and protective factors and life experiences of the second NYTD cohort of 17 year old youth in foster care in Washington State surveyed in 2014-2015. Of 418 eligible youth, 90 percent (378 youth) participated in the survey. The report focuses on the role of close, trusting relationships with adults, and particularly, foster parents in bettering the lives of the foster youth. We found that the youth whose foster parents were their closest most trusted adults (100 youth or 26 percent of all survey participants) were significantly more likely to attend school or have a job, live in stable housing, receive behavioral health treatment, report no barriers to education and rely on more help from their closest adult compared to youth whose closest adults were other people (245 youth or 65 percent of all survey participants). When compared to their peers surveyed in 2011-2012, the youth reported similar or better life experiences: they were significantly more likely to attend regular high school, live in stable housing, and count on more help from the closest adult. They rated DSHS efforts to strengthen their relationship with their closest adults very positively.


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