The state’s attention to aging-out youth is occurring at a time of high need. While the overall number of New Jersey children in out-of-home care have decreased over recent years, young adults make up the fastest growing share of youth in care. As a professional, caregiver, mentor, or other caring adult in this field, you have the ability to provide potentially life-saving support to youths in need. Exploring the resources below will help you to understand what you can do and how you can best support this vulnerable population.
- Advocates for Children of New Jersey
Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) is the trusted, independent voice putting children’s needs first for more than 30 years. Our work results in better laws and policies, more effective funding and stronger services for children and families. And it means that more children are given the chance to grow up safe, healthy and educated.
- Booster Club
FosterClub is the national network for young people in foster care. Every two minutes, a child’s life changes as they enter the foster care system and FosterClub is their club — a place to turn for advice, information, and hope. The members of FosterClub are resilient young people determined to build a better future for themselves and for other kids coming up through the system behind them. Their success depends on the generosity of concerned people like you, who can join as part of the BoosterClub. Now is the time to get involved. No matter how much time you have to give or your level of contribution, you have the power to do something positive that will change life for a young person in foster care.
- CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Morris and Sussex Counties, Inc. (CASA) is a private not-for-profit corporation. Our mission is to speak up for the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. We recruit, train, and supervise community volunteers who provide a voice in court to assure each child a safe, permanent, and nurturing home.
- CASA of Union County
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Union County, Inc. is an independent, non-profit organization committed to advocating for the best interest of children in out-of-home placement. CASA of Union County, Inc. trains community volunteers who work to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available, in a timely fashion, to children in placement while helping to move them as quickly as possible toward safe and permanent homes.
- Children’s Aid Society
The Children’s Aid Society understands the struggles of teens in foster care, many of whom age out -- reach majority and are no longer required to live in the care of foster parents -- without having acquired the skills and supports needed for a successful transition to independence. In New York(state), youth may remain in foster care until the age of 21. But many choose to leave when they are legally eligible, between the ages 18 and 21. This page discusses the comprehensive services CAS has undertaken to prepare these vulnerable youth for a more productive adulthood.
- Child Welfare League of America
CWLA is a powerful coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families since 1920. Their expertise, leadership and innovation on policies, programs, and practices help improve the lives of millions of children in all 50 states.
- Foster Care Alumni of America
The mission of Foster Care Alumni of America is to connect the alumni community and to transform policy and practice, ensuring opportunity for people in and from foster care.
FosteringConnections.org is a gathering place of information, training and tools related to furthering the implementation of the Fostering Connections law. Specifically, they aim to connect implementers with the latest information and the best experts and advocates working on these issues.
- Orphan Foundation of America
OFA helps former foster children become successful adults. In most states, foster children leave the social services system when they turn 18. In the eyes of the court they’re adults, but few 18 year olds are emotionally, mentally or financially able to support themselves. Without someone to guide them, too many end up homeless, unemployed, incarcerated or pregnant. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
- Transition Planning: National Resource Center for Youth Development
The University of Oklahoma, National Resource Center for Youth Development’s (NRCYD) is a service of the Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau and a member of the TTA Network. NRCYD’s overall goal is to build the capacity of States and Tribes to provide high quality services to their youth in out of home placements, former foster youth and other youth in at-risk situations.
- Working with Older Youth: National CASA website
Preparing older youth for their transition to independence is a National CASA strategic plan priority. Through initiatives including their Fostering Futures program, they help volunteers better support this population. Includes resources to help child welfare advocates work with older youth in care.
- The Transition to Adulthood: How States Can Support Older Youth in Foster Care
This report, from the NGA Center for Best Practices, highlights effective state strategies and promising approaches aimed at improving outcomes for foster youth in the following five areas: Education, Employment, Housing, Health Care, and Relationships. The report shows that successful state supports not only improve the outcomes for youth in foster care, 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.
- Funding Permanency Services: A Guide to Leveraging Federal, State, and Local Dollars in Related Publications about Youth Transitioning from Foster Care
By Donald Schmid, Madelyn Freundlich, and Sarah Greenblatt (2010)
This paper published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation helps child welfare directors and fiscal managers be more strategic in planning their approach to child welfare spending and reimbursement. The paper outlines specific steps states, localities, and tribes can take to support vulnerable children and families by drawing down federal funding, including funds made possible by the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008.
- Meeting the Education Requirements of Fostering Connections: Learning from the Field
in Related Publications about Youth Transitioning from Foster Care
By Connected by 25, The Finance Project, and the Youth Transition Funders Group (2010)
This document aims to help agency leaders, policymakers, judges, and their partners understand and respond effectively to the education requirements of Fostering Connections by reflecting on lessons learned from a decade of initiatives to improve education outcomes for youth in and leaving foster care. It focuses on how policies and practices implemented in response to Fostering Connections can provide the foundation for collaborative education supports that lead more youth in foster care to complete high school and pursue and succeed in postsecondary education.
- Guide to Mapping Community Assets for Transitioning Youth in Related Publications about Youth Transitioning from Foster Care
By Connected by 25, The Finance Project, and the Youth Transition Funders Group (2010)
This guide seeks to help state and community leaders systematically map the supports and services available to young people transitioning from foster care, so that young people, case workers, advocates, and other supportive adults will be able to effectively take advantage of all the resources available to them.
- An Assessment of Resources to Support Transitioning Youth in Related Publications about Youth Transitioning from Foster Care
By Connected by 25, The Finance Project, and the Youth Transition Funders Group (2010)
This assessment tool seeks to help states and communities determine areas of strength in which there are adequate resources to support transitioning youth and areas in which additional services and supports need to be developed to meet the needs of young people.
- The Metropolitan Atlanta Youth Opportunities Initiative: Lessons Learned by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta in Related Publications about Youth Transitioning from Foster Care
This paper provides The Community Foundation's perspective about the Metropolitan Youth Opportunities Initiative (MAYOI): how it came to exist, how it was implemented, how it has evolved and lessons we learned about making the initiative sustainable and scalable.
- A Call to Action: An Integrated Appoach to Youth Permanency and Preparation to Adulthood in Related Publications about Youth Transitioning from Foster Care
New Haven, CT: Casey Family Services, 2005
- Extending Foster Care to Age 21: Weighing the Costs to Government Against Benefits to Youth in Related Publications about Youth Transitioning from Foster Care
By Clark M. Peters, Amy Dworsky, Mark E. Courtney, Harold Pollack
Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, 2009.
- Youth Transition Funders Group / Connected By 25: Effective Policy Solutions for Vulnerable Youth in Related Publications about Youth Transitioning from Foster Care
In an effort to strengthen philanthropic investments among its membership, the Youth Transition Funders Group (YTF G) asked a group of policy experts to provide recommendations on how foundations can work to encourage effective policy solutions on issues affecting youth in transition to adulthood. The issue brief offers a summary of those recommendations, focusing on four primary transition points that often threaten the ability for youth to be connected by age 25 to the institutions and support systems that help them succeed throughout life.
- Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act: Frequently Asked Questions on the Provisions Designed to Impact Youth and Young Adults in Related Publications about Youth Transitioning from Foster Care
Washington, DC: National Foster Care Coalition, 2009.
- What Works for Older Youth During the Transition to Adulthood: Lessons from Experimental Evaluatons of Programs and Interventions in Related Publications about Youth Transitioning from Foster Care
By Alena M. Hadley, M.S., Kassim Mbwana, M.P.P., and Elizabeth C. Hair, Ph.D.
Washington, DC: Child Trends, 2010.
- Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth
By Mark E. Courtney, Amy Dworsky, JoAnn S. Lee, Melissa Raap, Gretchen Ruth Cusick, Thomas Keller, Judy Havlicek, Alfred Perez, Sherri Terao, Noel Bost 2010
- Progress on State Policy Goals: The Policy Matrix Report in Key Publications from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
By the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative has produced a policy matrix for each of the states where its demonstration sites are located. The policy matrix provides documentation of currently existing state policies, information about practice and policy implementation, state statutes, and statewide data collection that help determine how many young people are benefitting from the policies and practices. The matrix is based on the policy goals of the Initiative.
- The National Youth in Transition Database: Lessons Learned from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative in Key Publications from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
By the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative (2010)
The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) tracks young people who have transitioned from foster care across the country. For the past seven years, the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative has collected data from young people aging out of foster care ages 14 to 24. This report identifies the lessons learned form this data collection and gives recommendations to states on how to avoid pitfalls.
- Chafee Plus Ten: A Vision For the Next Decade in Key Publications from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
By Madelyn Freundlich, Excal Consulting Partners (2010)
On the tenth anniversary of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Act of 1999, this paper takes a close look at what has been learned since the law's enactment. It discusses the data and research findings, implications for society, a gives a vision for the next decade on an effective service system and strong policies that support youth in successfully transitioning to adulthood.
- Cost Avoidance: Bolstering the Economic Case for Investing In Youth Aging Out of Foster Care. in Key Publications from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
By Ira Cutler (2009)
This study bolsters the case for greater investments into the future of youth aging out of foster care. Cutler does so by identifying some of the costs of bad outcomes and estimating the potential savings that could be achieved if youth in foster care were doing as well as others their age. The paper looks at three important areas: education, family formation and criminal justice.
- Assessing Leverage: Lessons from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative in Key Publications from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
By Ira Cutler (2008)
This publication discusses how the Initiative has categorized, measured and analyzed leverage in its work. It discusses the distinguishing characteristics that helps define leverage: purpose, form, duration and source.Overarching observations about lessons learned include the effectiveness of youth as advocates, the importance of partnerships, public funds, building on what you have, financial leverage is not just about the money, and the importance of clear communication strategies.
- Medicaid Access for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care in Key Publications from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
By the American Public Human Services Association (2007)
The John Chafee Foster Care Independence Program provided unique opportunities for states to extend Medicaid coverage for young people who have aged out of foster care. This report is intended to provide state child welfare and Medicaid officials and state legislatures with data on how these legislative changes are being and can be used to cover youth and young adults that continue to need support after leaving state custody.
- National Youth in Transition Database--Instructional Guidebook and Architectural Blueprint in Key Publications from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
By the American Public Services Association and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago for State Foster Care and Adoption Data (2009)
The John F. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program required the Administration for Children and Families to created a National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) that can be used to track the Chafee-funded independent living services that states provide to youth who transition from foster care. This guidebook addresses what NYTD regulations requires states to do, planning and preparing to implement NYTD, regional/coordinated approach, outsourcing of tracking and data collection, and tools for locating and tracking youth.
- A Reason, A Season, A Lifetime: Relational Permanence Among Young Adults with Foster Care Backgrounds in Key Publications from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
By Gina Miranda Samuels (2008)
This interpretive study conducted in-depth interviews and created personal network maps with twenty-nine young adults participating in a program offering resources to help them make successful transitions to adulthood. The aim of this study was to explore their social support networks and examine how foster care might constrain or facilitate supportive relationships into adulthood.
- Supporting Youth in Transition to Adulthood: Lessons Learned from Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice in Key Publications from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
By David Altschuler, Gary Stangler, Kent Berkley, and Leonard Burton (2009)
The Georgetown Public Policy Institute's Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative collaborated to publish this paper that describes case assessment, case management, and other practices implemented in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. The practices highlighted have shown promise in improving outcomes for the transition-age population.
- When Should the State Cease Parenting? Evidence from the Midwest Study in Related Publications about Youth Transitioning from Foster Care
By Mark Courtney, Amy Dworsky, and Harold Pollack
Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, 2007.
- Georgetown Public Policy Institute's Center for Juvenile Justice Releases Paper on Improving Educational Outcomes
- Related Publications about Youth Transitioning from Foster Care
The paper discusses the poor educational outcomes many child welfare and juvenile justice involved youth face. As the paper states, "youth in foster care and youth in the delinquency system typically experience academic and behavioral problems in school, receive special education services at a higher rate, and are more likely to drop out of school than other students."
- Supporting Foster Youth to Achieve Employment and Economic Self-Sufficiency in Opportunities to Achieve Economic Success
This research paper highlights the unique characteristics of the young people who "age out" of the foster care system each year. This information is intended especially for professionals supporting youth education, employment, and workforce development. It was prepared by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) and provides background on the Foster Care Guide for Partnership Development.
- Time for Reform: Aging Out and On Their Own in Key Publications from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
By The Pew Charitable Trusts-Kids Are Waiting Campaign and the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative (2007)
This report describes how the current foster care system fails to provide a permanent family for every child and the difficulty children have staying connected to family and friends while in foster care. The report also presents the state-by-state data on the number of youth who have aged out of foster care and describes the problems young adults have when they have to face the future without a permanent family to support them.