Tuesday, December 28, 2010

States Can Achieve Better Outcomes, Lower Costs by Supporting Youth Transitioning From Foster Care to Adulthood

The NGA Center for Best Practices is the nation’s only dedicated consulting firm for governors and their key policy staff.

Their recently released report, The Transition to Adulthood: How States Can Support Older Youth in Foster Care (December 2010), explores the following strategies:
  • Promoting educational attainment
  • Connecting youth with employment and career training
  • Enhancing access to safe and stable housing
  • Helping youth access and manage health care
  • Helping youth build stable, lifelong relationships
As NGA Director John Thomasian states, "Because states continue to face austere budget conditions, many of the strategies described in this report have little or no cost; involve getting existing systems, such as education and health, to work more collaboratively; and leverage available federal and private funding in new or different ways."

This report demonstrates that successful state supports not only improve the outcomes for foster youth, but reduce costs to states that result from negative outcomes such as criminality, low educational attainment, lack of medical insurance, homelessness and an increased need for public assistance like food stamps.

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