Adolescents face a range of developmental issues, and as teens approach adulthood, living independently becomes a significant goal. While youth with intact families may struggle to achieve self-reliance, youth in out-of-home care face formidable obstacles. The following resources provide information on helping adolescents transition to adulthood and live independently.
- Promising practices
- Support services for youth
- Resources for youth
- Extending out-of-home care for youth past age 18
Aging Out: Voices From Those in the Foster Care System [Video]
Los Angeles Times
Offers a video of interviews with more than a dozen youth from the Los Angeles area on the verge of being emancipated from foster care or who had recently aged out. In the video, the youth speak about their pasts and their dreams for the future.
Casey Family Programs
Provides an array of services for children and youth in foster care, including services that help youth make a successful transition to adulthood.
The Forum for Youth Investment
Aims to help communities and the nation make sure all young people are Ready by 21: ready for college, work and life.
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
Brings together the people, systems, and resources necessary to help youth in foster care make successful transitions to adulthood by making grants, providing technical assistance, and advocating for improved policies and practices.
Program Instructions Related to Independent Living
Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Clarifies and explains procedures and methods for operationalizing program policies, adds details to program regulations or policy requirements, and conveys to grantees program guidance on actions they are expected or required to take.
Spotlight on NYTD [Video]
National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) (2014)
Provides information regarding the history and purpose of the NYTD database, the first national data collection service for youth aging out of foster care.
Supports for Older Youth in Foster Care
National Conference of State Legislatures (2015)
Reviews efforts by states to improve the lives of older youth in foster care and lists changes made since 2012 on topics such as extending care beyond 18, re-entry into foster care, youth engagement, education, transitioning out of foster care, identity theft, behavioral health, homelessness, and more.
Transitioning and Aging Out
Supports efforts to build the skills required to live independently and provides resources for youth aged 16-24 who are experiencing challenges as they transition to adulthood.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 488KB)
Works Wonders™ Program
Explains the Works Wonders™ Program, which provides career planning, job training, and support groups for youth transitioning out of foster care in Rhode Island. The site also links to video testimonials about the success of the project.
YMCA Connections Project [Video]
YMCA of San Diego (2014)
Describes the Connections Project, a federally funded program that addresses the well-being of youth who are transitioning out of foster care in San Diego through one-on-one coaching and wellness classes.