The most statistically vulnerable youth in the U.S. today are foster kids who have aged out of the system.
For more than a decade, Youth Villages has been working to help these often invisible, forgotten young people. Through a grant from The Day Foundation, our organization began offering a voluntary transitional living program in 1999 specifically designed to help young people at their most statistically vulnerable point: beginning life as an independent adult after aging out of foster care or other children’s services.
In the transitional living program, Youth Villages specialists work with young people to help them:
- Find safe housing
- Achieve stable employment
- Continue their education or get job training
- Reunite with birth families if possible
- Build healthy adult support systems
- Learn to manage their physical and mental health issues
Youth Villages now has 10 years of data collected from checking in with young people who received at least 60 days of service in the program six, 12 and 24 months later, since 2002.
In 2010, Youth Villages began participating in a rigorous evaluation of its transitional living program, conducted by MDRC, a national social service research group. The study is overseen by Mark Courtney, senior researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. He also is the principal investigator for The Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth. That longitudinal study has been following a group of young people from Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois as they transition from foster care to adulthood
The results of our research are clear. After aging out of the system, these youth are statistically at their most vulnerable, with many facing a high risk of falling into a life of substance abuse, prison and poverty. However, we’ve also learned that with the right intensive guidance and attention, their odds of becoming successful, independent adults increase dramatically.
Learn more details about how the program works.
Currently, Youth Villages offers Transitional Living to young adults in Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.
This program counts on the generosity of friends of Youth Villages. Click to see list of our Transitional Living partners.