The Youth Villages Transitional Living Program provides young adults leaving the foster care, juvenile justice and mental health systems the intensive in-home support and guidance they need to make a successful transition to adulthood.
The typical age range of young adults in the Transitional Living Program is 17-22. In some cases, Youth Villages continues to serve young adults past the age of 21 if they are in need of further services. Because funds are typically not available for young adults older than 21, Youth Villages uses private donations to continue services for these cases. Program participation usually lasts from 6 to 12 months, with an average of 7-9 months.
Program success is defined as young adults’:
- Maintaining stable and suitable housing
- Remaining free from legal involvement
- Participating in an educational/vocational program
- Developing the life skills necessary to become a successful, productive citizen
While there are some programs that serve young adults who have aged out of foster care, the intensity and comprehensiveness of Youth Villages’ Transitional Living services sets this program apart from other similar services:
- Transitional living specialists are available to the young adults 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- They make a minimum of one face-to-face contact per week with the individuals at the youth’s home, job, or wherever is most convenient for the young person.
- The number of sessions can be increased based upon the individual needs of each young adult.
Youth Villages’ outcome data show that the program significantly reduces the risk of homelessness, poverty and illegal behavior among the young adults served. Based on outcomes through June 2012, of those who had completed the TL program:
- 86% lived at home or in a home-like environment 24 months after discharge.
- 77% reported no trouble with the law 24 months after discharge.
- 83% were in school, graduated or employed 24 months after discharge
These results speak favorably to the successes achieved by the young people who complete the Youth Villages Transitional Living program when compared to the results from studies of those leaving state custody without support.
See the MDRC evaluation of TL, After Foster Care and Juvenile Justice.
Why does it work?