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Examining Homeless Outcomes Among Foster Care Youth in Wisconsin Prepared for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Prepared by: Beauregard Blazavier, Sarah Foster, Brett Halverson, Ellen Hildebrand, John Magnino, and Caroline McCormack
● Limited financial or social support post-discharge ● Higher risk of adverse economic and social outcomes Context: Former Foster Care Youth Outcomes Source: www.youthintransition.org
Project Background ●2-year grant (Phase I) to “better understand the causes and consequences of youth homelessness and to create targeted interventions that equip youth to thrive in adulthood.” (DCF 2014)
Project Goals 1) Identify factors associated with homelessness among the former foster care population in Wisconsin 2) Review innovative state programs in transition planning for youth aging out of care 3) Provide recommendations for improving outcomes for former foster care youth
Methods • ● Merged DCF and Department of Administration Data • eWiSACWIS • Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) • ● Literature review of foster care outcomes and homelessness studies
Background: Former Foster Youth in Wisconsin ●Approximately 450 Youth Age out of foster care each year ● Discharged from system at age 18 or 19 ● Limited federal funds for employment training, education, housing services
Background: Homelessness in Wisconsin • “Homelessness” defined as at least one entry into an emergency shelter in Wisconsin • Wisconsin homeless rate (2012): .4 percent • 41 percent Black
New Findings from Matched Dataset • 4.3 percent of former foster youth • 6.5 percent of aged out youth • 38 percent Black
Discussion: Predictive Probabilities Compare to 4.3% baseline probability -6.5
Best Practices in Transition Planning Permanent Connections: -Training frontline staff (NYC) -State Legislation (CA) Housing: -Partnerships with housing authorities (CA, AK, CT, IL, NY) -Financial assistance and counseling (IL) Source: National Center for Children and Families: www.nccf.org
Best Practices in Transition Planning Employment and Training: -Nonprofit contracting for employment training and job connections (CA, ME, NY, FL, CT) -Partners with directly with employers (FL) Education: -Partnerships with school districts (PA) -Connections with community colleges (CT) Source: Reuters: http://www.minnpost.com/community-voices/educating-foster-youth
Conclusion and Recommendations: Data ●Communicate to federal funders that Wisconsin has completed the most in-depth analysis of administrative data to understand homeless problem among foster youth ● Secure data to analyze socio-economic factors such as education and income ●Utilize data set to support current and future initiatives
Conclusion and Recommendations: Policy ●Our findings from merged dataset reveal that limited access to familial resources is a consistent predictor of homelessness ● Prioritize permanent connections and housing programs ● Examine education and workforce training programs
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