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June 2004Vol. 5, No. 5Investing in the Futures of Foster Youth

Preparing youth in foster care to achieve economic success and make the transition to independent living are the aims of a new investment strategy developed by foundation executives who make up the Foster Care Work Group. Titled "Connected by 25," the plan is designed to ensure that former foster youth are connected by age 25 to institutions and support systems that will enable them to succeed as adults.

The plan calls for public- and private-sector investments in five main strategies:

  1. Advocating for and supporting educational attainment, including secondary education
  2. Facilitating access to employment
  3. Providing financial literacy education
  4. Encouraging savings and asset development, including matched savings accounts
  5. Creating entrepreneurship opportunities

In order to implement these strategies, the Work Group outlines ways in which national, regional, and local foundations can support community demonstrations, research, technical assistance, and outreach and advocacy. The Work Group also proposes an evaluation plan that offers indicators and performance measures that can be used to assess the impact of these strategies on youth leaving foster care.

The full text of "Connected by 25: A Plan for Investing in Successful Futures for Foster Youth" can be downloaded at{061111FD-7991-4BFE-A794-48E1A4354BCF}.

Related Items

Children's Bureau Express has examined the topic of foster care youth transitioning to independence in a number of recent articles, including:

  • "Improving Independent Living Services" (April 2004)
  • "Casey Foster Alumni Achieve Success in High School Graduation, Employment" (February 2004)
  • "Supporting Successful Transitions for Youth" (November 2003)