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March 2011Vol. 12, No. 2How States Can Help Older Youth

The National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices has released a new report, The Transition to Adulthood: How States Can Support Older Youth in Foster Care, which provides effective strategies States can use to support older foster youth as they transition to adulthood.

Highlighted in the report are approaches that have shown success in five areas:

  • Education: States can minimize a youth's school changes, work with administrators to track academic records, and connect students with mentors and other on-campus support for postsecondary education.
  • Employment: Youth can be connected with career training by States forming partnerships with employers that may offer opportunities. It is also beneficial if States provide youth with lessons in money management.
  • Housing: Partnerships between State and local housing authorities and community organizations can create affordable housing programs for youth in addition to providing support they need to live independently.
  • Health Care: To help improve the health outcomes of transitioning youth, States can extend the eligibility of Medicaid beyond age 18 and develop a system to help youth track their medical histories.
  • Relationships: Helping youth create stable relationships with caring adults, establishing legal guardianships, and connecting youth to family members when possible are ways States can help youth explore permanency options.

To access the full report, visit the NGA website: (2.47 MB)