Independent Living Services for Foster Youth

Oct 2017 |
7.111
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Online Library
Findings from the NYTD-Reported Services for Washington State 2015

This study examined Independent Living (IL) services for youth in foster care in Washington State in 2014-2015. These services are designed to assist youth in making the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency and include educational support, employment preparation, financial assistance, and life skills training. A total of 1,649 youth aged 16 to 21 years participated in at least one IL service provided by IL services contractors, social workers, and tribal partners between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015. This represented 30 percent of all eligible youth in the state (5,604). Youth receiving IL services were concentrated in large urban counties; these counties also served a higher proportion of their eligible youth than rural and remote counties. We found that the youth in foster care received significantly more IL services than the youth not in foster care at every age. Demographic differences among IL participants largely reflected different risk factors faced by the youth, their preferences, and changing needs as the youth grew older. However, some services that dropped off for older youth could have been beneficial to them.