December 2013Vol. 14, No. 9NYTD Implementation Continues
By Miguel Vieyra, Project Lead, and Elizabeth Mertinko, Senior Project Manager, National Youth in Transition Database
As part of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP), the Children's Bureau was required to establish a system to track the services States provide to youth transitioning out of foster care and to collect information about outcomes experienced by youth at ages 17, 19, and 21. To meet this requirement, the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) was implemented in October 2011. Since then, NYTD data collection has helped advance a national goal of better understanding which Independent Living services are more likely to lead to positive outcomes for these young people. NYTD is also an exciting new opportunity to link other reporting systems, such as the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, that provide information on the experiences of young people involved with child welfare.
At this time, all States are collecting and reporting information semiannually to the NYTD system. In addition to collecting information on the services provided to transitioning youth, States have completed two waves of outcome surveys for youth in NYTD Cohort 1 (youth who turned 17 in foster care during Federal fiscal year 2011). States began surveying a second cohort of 17-year-old youth in foster care on October 1, 2013. As NYTD datasets are reviewed, updated, and finalized, they are available through the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN). The Children's Bureau also has released two data briefs based on NYTD data submissions:
- Highlights From State Reports to the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD), Federal Fiscal Year 2011
- Highlights From State Reports to the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD), Federal Fiscal Year 2012
Because a large portion of the dataset comes directly from youth through a survey, NYTD also is an exciting new opportunity to engage youth as partners in survey research, including dialogue, analysis, and dissemination of outcomes data. Consequently, meaningful youth engagement continues to be a hallmark of NYTD at the Federal level. Young people who were formerly in care participate in NYTD efforts in many ways. Along with State staff, young people serve on the NYTD Technical Working Group (TWG), a national team that provides input to the Children's Bureau on its efforts to promote the effective use of NYTD data for program and policy planning, effective youth engagement, and meaningful data dissemination to youth audiences. Trained youth reviewers have participated in all NYTD site visits, a new protocol to assess State implementation of NYTD data collection. Finally, young people have been involved in promoting the national collection and use of NYTD data. This spring, a group of young people assisted the Children's Bureau in producing a new video series about NYTD that will be used to inform various audiences about the purpose of NYTD data collection, including short videos targeted to youth, State child welfare agency staff, and the general public. These videos will be made available online later this fall.
More information about NYTD is available on the Children's Bureau website:
For questions regarding NYTD, please contact the Children's Bureau at NYTDinfo@acf.hhs.gov.
Children's Bureau Express previously featured NYTD in the article "National Youth in Transition Database" in the March 2012 issue: