Building Well-Being With Transitioning Youth
Youth transitioning from foster care to independence and adulthood have substantial needs. Working with youth to develop a strong transition plan that addresses education, housing, health, life skills, and their community is key to improving outcomes for this population. In this section, child welfare professionals can find resources that offer ways to engage, support, and build well-being with youth who are transitioning from foster care. Resources include State and local examples.
The Adolescent Brain: New Research and Its Implications for Young People Transitioning From Foster Care(PDF - 784 KB)
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative (2011)
Presents research on adolescent brain development and the effects of trauma on brain development. This report provides practice recommendations for serving older youth and supporting them as they become healthy, connected, productive young adults.
(PDF - 1116 KB)
RTI International (2008)
Presents data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being on outcomes for adolescents transitioning to adulthood, including information on youth characteristics, well-being, services received, and young adults raising children.
FosterClub's Transition Toolkit: A Free Tool for Developing a Youth-Driven Transition Plan With a Team Approach
Guides transitioning youth and adult supporters through building a transition plan that helps clarify goals, build a Transition Support Team, evaluate assets, sharpen skills, and map out a plan for the challenges after foster care.
Aims to connect the foster care community and provides blogs and forums to share ideas and experiences or to find role models and mentors who have similar backgrounds.
Charting a Better Future for Transitioning Foster Youth: Report From a National Summit on the Fostering Connections to Success Act(PDF - 3973 KB)
American Bar Association Commission on Youth at Risk (2011)
Provides 56 recommendations for implementing new approaches for addressing the unique needs of youth leaving foster care. Chapters address health, employment, housing, and permanency and stress how States can use the act to better prepare youth for a successful transition to adulthood.
Collects case-level information on youth in care, including services paid for or provided by the State agencies that administer the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, as well as the outcome information on youth who are in or who have aged out of foster care.
(PDF - 1413 KB)
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute (2011)
Highlights research indicating a high percentage of transitioning youth will face difficulties in early adulthood and need permanent, emotionally sustaining, and committed relationships to reach self-sufficiency and to thrive. There is a range of creative methods to provide stable, dependable family support to help older youth achieve permanency and long-term connections.
(PDF - 917 KB)
National Resource Center for Youth Development & University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service (2010)
Provides a review of best practices across other youth-serving systems and recommendations for child welfare systems. The research for this report was conducted through a philosophical lens of transition as a physical, emotional, and psychological process rather than an event.
National Resource Center for Youth Development
Provides information about and resources for positive youth development, engaging youth in permanency and transition planning, youth leadership development, and youth/adult partnerships. This organization is part of the Children's Bureau's Training and Technical Assistance Network.
The Finance Project
Offers research, best practice, policy, and funding information to support services for former foster youth and their successful transition to adulthood. The site also includes the Connected By 25 framework of education, workforce, financial literacy, savings and asset building, entrepreneurship, and permanency.
State and local examples
Provides information about housing options for youth in and transitioning out of foster care in New York City.
Children's Voice, 18(5), 2009
Discusses challenges former youth in foster care face in college and programs colleges are implementing to financially and emotionally support them in several States, as well as on the national level.
Provides critical services to transitioning youth, including housing, education, employment, and other wellness services. Created and run by youth formerly in foster care, VOICES brings together more than 40 partnering agencies to operate two centers in California's Napa and Sonoma Counties.