4.3 Marci McCoy-Roth


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  • Specifically, the percentage of the total foster care caseload aged13 and over has increased since 1998. This trend may explain, at least partially, the increases in the number of youth aging out, and it suggests that until more older youth achieve permanence, the number of youth aging out will remain high. See Table 5 for the percentages of children and youth in foster care by age range for each year, 1998 through 2009. We note that this analysis is point-in-time and that a cohort analysis might reveal alternative explanations, including the possibility that exits to permanency are occurring more quickly for children in some age ranges (perhaps due to the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.) As Table 5 shows, the percentage of the foster care population comprising children age 2 and younger rose by 33 percent between 1998 and 2009 while the percentage of the foster care population comprising children between the ages of 3 and 12 decreased notably. The percentage of children and youth in foster care who are 13 and over has grown, while financial resources to serve this population through the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act have not.
  • Older youth in foster care are more likely to be placed in a group home or institution setting than their younger peers, and less likely to be in a pre-adoptive or family foster home. In 2009, nearly 54,000 youth aged 13-21 lived in a group or institutional setting, This represents over one-third of this population, compared with only four percent of children 12 and younger living in these placements (see Figure 2). Eighty four percent of youth aged 12 and under were in a foster home setting (with a relative or non-relative) compared to just over half of youth aged 13-21. The likelihood of being in a family foster home setting decreases with age among 13-21 year olds, as shown in Figure 2. Foster homes include relative non relative, guardianships and informal
  • The case goals of older foster youth also differ dramatically from younger children. Specifically, youth 13 and older are less likely than younger children to have the goal of reunification with a parent or adoption, and more likely to have the goals of emancipation or long term foster care. As Table 2 shows, the proportion of foster youth with the goal of emancipation increases as youth age, while the goal of adoption drops steadily: one-third of children in the 0-12 age group had a goal of adoption at the end of 2009, compared with only six percent of 17-18 year olds, and two percent of 19-21 year olds.
  • Many youth who leave foster care at 18 years of age or older entered foster care as teenagers. They need support and services to help them begin the transition to adulthood and prepare for work and personal responsibilities. Studies of youth who leave foster care without a safe, permanent family reveal consistently negative life outcomes. One found that 25 percent of foster care alumni who aged out did not have a high school diploma or GED. Another study found that less than 2 percent finished college compared with 23 percent of youth in the general population. Over half of youth who aged out of foster care experienced one or more episodes of homelessness, and nearly 30 percent were incarcerated at some point—many times the rate for other young adults. Youth who aged out of foster care were less likely to be employed or to have health insurance than were their peers who had not been in foster care. These negative experiences compromise these young adults’ abilities to lead independent, fulfilling and productive lives and create substantial costs for government.  Mark Courtney, Amy Dworsky, Gretchen Cusick, Judy Havlicek, Alfred Perez, Tom Keller, “Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth: Outcomes at Age 21.” Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicago, (December 2007): 68-70.Peter Pecora, Ronald Kessler, Jason Williams, Kirk O’Brien, Chris Downs, Diana English, James White, Eva Hiripi, Catherine White, Tamera Wiggins, & Kate Holmes, “Improving Foster Family Care: Findings from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study.” Casey Family Programs, (2005). http://www.casey.org/Resources/Publications/NorthwestAlumniStudy.htm (accessed December 9, 2009),Peter Pecora et al. “Improving Foster Family Care: Findings from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study.”M.B. Kushel, I. H. Yen, L. Gee, & M.E. Courtney, “Homelessness and Health Care Access After Emancipation: Results From the Midwest Evaluation of Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth.” Archives of Pediatric Medicine 161 no. 10 (2007). Can we find any more resecent studies on these outcomes? Midwest study for example? The Midwest study cited for this (2007) is the most recent. I did a quick google search for outcomes for youth aging out of foster care and the Midwest study along was the most recent / best available. If someone has suggestions of where else to look I’m glad to do some more investigation, but thought I’d ask for ideas first.
  • Lowest 3: Missouri, Puerto Rico,   and Indiana had the lowest percentage of total exits to aging out (1.5, 1.5, and 1.6 percent respectively). \\More information is needed to explain this wide variation which, in all likelihood, is affected by a number of factors. For example, states that have focused their efforts on reducing lengths of stay for younger children entering foster care may have higher percentages of older youth aging out of care. Similarly, states that invest in services for older youth in care and allow them to stay in foster care longer may have more older youth who remain in care past age 18. Some experts argue that some states may not emphasize permanency for older youth because of the perception that youth receive more services when they remain in foster care. In addition, the rate at which older youth enter foster care varies significantly across the states. State policies and practices for the placement of teens in foster care vary significantly. As a result, an analysis of a state’s aging out numbers must take into account other contextual variables.
  • 4.3 Marci McCoy-Roth

    1. 1. Child Welfare and Youth Homelessness:The Fostering Connections Act<br />July 14, 2011 <br />Marci McCoy-Roth, Child Trends<br />Based on brief by Kerry DeVooght, Megan Fletcher and Marci McCoy-Roth, Child Trends (forthcoming)<br />
    2. 2. The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (P.L. 110-351)<br />Sweeping federal reforms for children and families<br />Enacted October 7, 2008<br />Most significant federal reforms for abused and neglected children in more than a decade.<br />2<br />
    3. 3. About FosteringConnections.org<br />Mission: FosteringConnections.org provides timely & reliable tools and information on the Fostering Connections Act to ensure that state, tribal and local decision makers are well-informed about the new law and that they receive maximum support as they plan for and carry out its implementation.<br />Supported by:<br />The Annie E Casey Foundation<br />Casey Family Programs<br />Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption<br />Duke Endowment<br />Eckerd Family Foundation<br />Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative<br />Sierra Health Foundation<br />Stuart Foundation<br />Walter S. Johnson Foundation<br />3<br />
    4. 4. What do we provide? <br />4<br />Nonpartisan data and resources on each section of the bill<br />Individualized technical assistance  <br />Monitoring of implementation activity <br />Opportunities to communicate with experts and peers  <br />
    5. 5. Children and Youth in Foster Care in 2009<br />5<br />424,000 children<br />Median age in years: 9.7<br />Median months in care: 15.4<br />Race:<br /><ul><li>White: 40%
    6. 6. Black: 30%
    7. 7. Hispanic: 20%</li></ul>254,000 children entered care<br />275,000 children exited care<br />
    8. 8. Percentage of children & youth in foster care<br />6<br />Percentage of children and youth in foster care by age <br />AFCARS 1998 - 2009<br />
    9. 9. Where do children in foster care live? FY09<br />7<br />
    10. 10. Percentage of Youth by Case Goals (FY09)<br />8<br />
    11. 11. Length of Stay in Care in Months (FY09)<br />9<br />Note: Includes total months in foster care for the current episode and the episode immediately preceding<br />
    12. 12. Exits from Foster Care<br />10<br />
    13. 13. Youth Aging out of Foster Care 1998-2009<br />11<br />
    14. 14. Outcomes for Youth who Age Out<br />25 percent did not have a high school diploma or GED<br />Fewer than 2 percent finished college compared with 23 percent of youth in the general population<br />Over half of youth who aged out of foster care experienced one or more episodes of homelessness, and nearly 30 percent were incarcerated at some point<br /> Youth who aged out of foster care were less likely to be employed or to have health insurance than were their peers who had not been in foster care. <br />12<br />
    15. 15. State Variation <br />13<br />States with largest percent of total exits due to youth aging out (FY 2009)<br />
    16. 16. Older Youth Provisions of FCA: Transition Plan<br />During the 90 day period before a youth leaves foster care at age 18, 19, 20 or 21, a transition plan must be developed. The plan must be individual to the young person and developed with the young person. Among the issues to be addressed are specific options on housing, health insurance, education, local opportunities for mentors, and workforce supports and employment services.<br />FosterClub Transition Toolkit<br />10 Topic areas covered<br />Housing<br />14<br />
    17. 17. Transition plans not the magic bullet<br />The success of the transition plan largely depends on the WHO - who is helping the youth develop the plan, who is helping the youth carry out the action items, who the youth has assisting them with developing resources, and - most applicable to the homelessness questions - who can the youth turn to when plans go wrong or in an emergency situation.   In other words - it's not the plan itself that's the magic bullet, it's the people involved in the plan (and invested in the youth's life).<br />- Celeste Bodner, Executive Director, FosterClub<br />15<br />
    18. 18. Older Youth Provisions of FCA: Extend to 21<br />Provides an option to states to secure federal reimbursement for foster care, guardianship or adoption assistance to youth between ages 18 and 21, and extends eligibility for Medicaid and Chafee Act benefits to youth in foster care to age 21 as well<br />12 states and the District of Columbia have begun implementing this option through approved IV-E plan amendments or by enacting legislation<br />States with IV-E Plans: AL, IL, MD, MN, NE, NY<br />States with Legislation: AK, CA, DE, DC, IL, ND, TN, TX, WA<br />16<br />
    19. 19. We invite your questions<br />17<br />FosteringConnections.org is pleased to answer questions or help you find technical assistance related to implementation. Please email questions to info@fosteringconnections.org<br />Marci McCoy-Roth<br />mmccoy-roth@childtrends.org<br />202.572.6122<br />